by Alia Fite
GPS devices have saved drivers from the hassle of paper maps and the inconvenience of asking locals for directions since their invention. Radar trackers help drivers steer clear of police run-ins by indicating when they should be extra cautious. For those fearful of being pulled over while following the GPS device, the newly patented GPS with radar detector is the possible solution.
The unnamed patent promises to consolidate GPS navigation and radar detection in one device designed to suction to the windshield, meaning the invention is good news for those without a preinstalled navigation system. The device, submitted for patent review by Edward Zheng in 2008, eliminates the need for two separate consoles and chargers.
This approach supposedly allows drivers to better concentrate on the road while minimizing clutter on the car’s dashboard. The patent abstract says, “If each equipment takes some space for installation, it unavoidably will limit the driver’s view field which is very dangerous for driving.”
In design, the GPS and the radar detector are separate devices that join together. The patent is for not only the idea of consolidating a GPS device and a radar detector, but for the unique dock that holds both. The radar detector has an open dock, and the GPS device connects to it. The guidance screen faces the driver, while the radar directs its signals through the windshield. The GPS device can even be detached if drivers decide only to use the device as a portable navigation system.
To make charging more convenient, the device can either plug into car outlets like cigarette lighters or run off of rechargeable batteries. The two parts of the device can be charged separately, but they can also survive off of the other’s energy supply when joined.
Aside from the device’s dock and charging process, the invention has features common to many navigation systems and radar detectors. As the patent abstract notes, the guidance system has an option for “turn-by-turn voice directions,” and drivers can either visually track the radar detector or wait for the audio signals.
For drivers who already own navigation systems or radar detectors—whether preinstalled or not—the new patent is superfluous. But for those in the market for either device, the two-in-one design may be too enticing to pass up.