Motorists using Garmin’s latest GPS car navigation and dashboard camera (dashcam) devices will now be automatically alerted as they approach the vicinity of over 300 traffic enforcement cameras here. When a motorist comes within 400 metres of any of the known traffic enforcement camera locations, the automotive device will sound an alert, the screen flashes a warning and the device tracks and shows the closing distance to the traffic enforcement camera.

While built-in traffic enforcement camera locations are not new, these new devices from Garmin are the first in Singapore to make use of official open data from the Singapore Police Force instead of relying on unofficial community-based data which are unverified. Garmin is a US-based maker of fitness trackers, smartwatches and navigation products.

Mr. Engelhard (Al) Sundoro, Managing Director for Garmin South Asia said: “We are very proud to support the Singapore Government’s ongoing efforts to promote open data sharing with the public. In the Global Open Data Index 2015 report, Singapore was ranked 16 globally in the report which benchmarks nations in how open they are in sharing public data. In addition, incorporating traffic enforcement camera data into our automotive navigation devices can help promote safer driving habits and hopefully reduce unnecessary road accidents.”

There are over 300 enforcement camera locations in Singapore, consisting of red light cameras, fixed speed cameras, mobile speed cameras as well as police laser speed camera enforcement locations. Garmin adopted the traffic enforcement camera co-ordinates from the Singapore Police Force’s website and added them into its GPS map data for Singapore. Work started last year and was recently completed.

This new feature has been incorporated into the recently launched Garmin GDR 530, GDR 560 and Garmin Drive 51, and will be available on older models including DriveAssist 50LM, DriveSmart 50LM, nüviCam, nüviCam 67LM, nüviCam 57LM, nüviCam 4592LM via a system update starting from mid July 2017.

A familiar brand in Singapore, Garmin’s consumer products have been sold here through distributors since the early 1990s. As part of the brand’s strategic plan to strengthen their presence in the region, Garmin launched its regional headquarters in Singapore early this year (2017) to directly manage the sales and marketing of its consumer devices in the Southeast Asia and India region.

Getting closer to the ground enables Garmin to come up with new innovative features that make its products more relevant to local consumers.

The GDR 530 and GDR 560 are new standalone driving recorders with a small and unobtrusive hardware design and new advanced driver awareness alerts. The Garmin GDR 530 and GDR 560 offer high-quality eyewitness recording with automatic incident detection (G-sensor) to save footage on impact, while also adding GPS capabilities for detailed time and location data. Advanced driver alerts such as forward collision and lane departure warnings are integrated in both new GDR models to help prevent drivers from either driving too close to the vehicle ahead or drifting off-road. Now with the inclusion of new voice controls , drivers can start and stop audio recordings and more through voice commands to help keep their hands on the wheel and focused on the drive.

In January (2017), Garmin launched the vívosmart HR with EZ-link – a special version of its vívosmart HR activity tracker which comes with built-in NFC contactless payment smarts. Users can tap their fitness band to make payment for train and bus rides, cab rides and retail purchases in Singapore.

“We don’t want to be another global brand that simply ships the same products to customers here. We want to go the extra mile to make our products more meaningful to consumers here, which in turn helps us to differentiate us from our competitors,” added Mr Sundoro.

The Garmin GDR 530, GDR 560 and the Garmin Drive 51 are the first consumer devices to adopt open data from the Singapore Police Force to promote safer driving habits in Singapore. The Garmin GDR 530 and GDR 560 and Garmin Drive 51 have a suggested retail price of SGD 229, SGD 279 and SGD 179 respectively.

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