Rand McNally's OverDryve tablet makes any car smarter
The average car has been on the road for over a decade and now, Rand McNally wants to make it – or any car – smart just in time for the holidays. The mapmaker's tablet-based OverDryve 7 system adds voice-controlled navigation, connectivity, a dash cam and more to any dashboard.
Centered around a magnetically-mounted seven-inch tablet running a modified version of Android Lollipop, OverDryve aims to add all the features found in a luxury car's connected infotainment system via your existing stereo. The tablet functions like any other slate when off the mount, but when mounted it features a voice assistant and touch interface specially designed for driving.
Even without an internet connection, the tablet offers commercial grade navigation, entertainment loaded from a memory card or apps, forward collision warnings via a dash cam and other safety features to reduce distracted driving on the road. The tablet mount includes a GPS receiver for better location accuracy, but there's no included LTE radio, so you'll need to bring your own data by connecting your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
With connectivity provided by your mobile device and a connection to your car stereo by FM transmitter, Bluetooth or a cable, you get the full functionality of OverDryve including the ability to dictate text messages, check email or social media and ask for news, traffic and weather. Rand McNally says the tablet is equipped with a noise-cancelling system that makes sure it can hear your commands even in noisy driving conditions.
There's also optional accessories for tire pressure monitoring, vehicle diagnostics and a wireless backup camera that can be purchased separately and connected via downloadable apps. The device can be powered through your car's cigarette lighter or through a standard wall outlet in your home. Once unplugged, it can hold a charge for about six hours.
If you've ever thought about how convenient it might be to take your Android tablet or maybe a larger version of your phone and just jam it in to your dashboard every time you get in the car, that's essentially what OverDryve is attempting to offer here with a tablet that has software and some hardware tweaks built in customized for driving.
OverDryve 7 is currently sold exclusively at Best Buy through the end of 2016 before it becomes more widely available. Retail price is US$400. The optional tire-pressure-monitoring kit is available for $150 and the added wireless back-up camera is $130.
Source: Rand McNally