Monday, 22 August 2016 17:13

NSW P-plate drivers cannot use smartphones as a GPS


Recent NSW legislation means P-plate (provisional) drivers will no longer be able to use a smartphone in a car as a phone or a GPS. Navman is quietly cheering the eminently sensible decision and hopes it will extend Australia-wide.

Navman was not backwards in extolling the virtues of a dedicated in-car GPS and readily admitted that smartphones had affected its sales — by approximately 10% but its average sale value has increased. 

Wendy Hammond, Navman’s Australian country director, told journalists that “There are new laws that do not allow P-platers to have their phone at all in the car, even in a cradle. We are hoping this will provide a boost to dedicated GPS sales.”

Navman let attendees see its latest dashcams in action (iTWire article here) at Randwick Racecourse to show the safety features in a near-real-life situation.

Before we get into their new GPS range, it is time to draw a line in the sand. Built-in GPS may look better, but the majority are vastly inferior due to on-going costs of keeping maps updated (you really need to update maps at least annually) and the range of driver assist tools like real-time traffic, and community feedback to map out better routes or identify points of interest (food, petrol, etc.).

In fact, the typical price for maps is around $400 plus installation labour at the time of service – most don’t see any change from a K-note. Some more forward-looking companies like Ford are now offering two free updates per year with scheduled services from genuine Ford dealers – a carrot.

For my money, a dedicated GPS is much better.

Navman released some new 2016 models (good, better, best)


5” touchscreen, lifetime maps, premium safety and speed limit alerts, lane guidance, 3D/landmark junction views, spoken street names, smart route, points of interest.



NM EZY350EZY350LMT  (A$179)

5” touchscreen, Smart Find allowing keywords to search a location without a full address. Route finder, fastest, easiest, economic or shortest – to take, spoken Alerts indicate school zones, speed and red light cameras.


NM MY660MY660LMT  (A$249)

6” touchscreen, faster processor for faster instructions, Bluetooth, Live traffic updates, Zomato Restaurant Guide, Premium Alerts, trip planner, trip select, Roadside Assist and Spoken Safety Alerts, all covered with Australian and NZ Lifetime Maps.


The speciality GPS including MyEscape III and MyTruck II remain in the line-up.

The 7” MyEscape III was iTWIre’s pick for the best GPS in 2015 and still is a formidable device.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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