Garmin’s Touchscreen aera™ Series Takes Pilots from Runway to Roadway image

Garmin announced today the aera, Garmin’s newest aviation handheld series that is touchscreen and multi-mode so that it can transition between aviation to automotive mode with one touch. The aera series includes four different models – aera 500, aera 510, aera 550 and aera 560 – and all have unprecedented ease of use that is derived from Garmin’s 20 years of expertise in the aviation and automotive markets. The aera product line will be on display and available for purchase for the first time at the Aircraft Owners Pilot Association (AOPA) Summit in Tampa, Florida, November 5-7, 2009.

In the air

The aera series has a 4.3 inch QVGA sunlight readable touchscreen display with large, finger-touchable icons. When in aviation mode, pilots are greeted with colorful icons that use intuitive pictures and labels to indicate their function: map, weather, terrain, direct to, HSI/panel, active FPL, numbers, nearest, WPT info, position, XM radio, and tools. Pilots can choose any of these functions by simply touching the appropriate icon. For example, after touching the terrain icon, pilots will see terrain and obstacle data that vividly depicts potential hazards.

The exterior of the aera 500, 510, 550 and 560 are identical, but the software features of each model are tailored to those seeking an entry or mid-level aviation handheld.

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5 HZ GPS update rate for near-real-time updates of panel page

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Patented aviation panel page

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Terrain and obstacle data

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Private Airport data

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XM WX capable and GXMTM 40 antenna included (XM WX subscription required)

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Standard 30 arc second terrain/obstacle data

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High resolution 9 arc second terrain/obstacle data for a more vivid depiction of proximity hazards (over 11 times more onscreen resolution than the standard 30 arc-second)

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SafeTaxi® with over 950 US airports

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AOPA Airport Directory

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One year complimentary aviation database updates (obstacles, terrain, SafeTaxi, NavData and AOPA Airport Directory)

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Preloaded auto maps with voice prompted directions that speak street names, “turn right on main street”

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Bluetooth capability in automotive mode

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Ruggedized and waterproof (IEC 529 IPX-7 standards)

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Enhanced auto features (lane assist, junction view, and speed limit notification)

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NAVTEQ automotive traffic compatible (requires purchase of accessory cigarette lighter adapter with integrated FM traffic receiver)

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The aera 510 and aera 560 include a GXMTM 40 receiver for XM radio and XM WX Satellite Weather that provides NEXRAD weather radar, aviation routine weather reports (METARs), terminal aerodrome forecasts (TAFs), temporary flight restrictions (TFRs), lightning, winds aloft, turbulence forecasts, PIREPs, icing forecast and several other important weather products.

On the road Customers can easily change from aviation to automotive mode by pressing the airplane icon at the top of the aera’s screen. In the automotive mode, customers will see the same “Where to?” and “View map” interface found on Garmin nüvi® and zūmo® products. The ruggedized and waterproof (IEC 529 IPX-7 standards) aera series comes loaded with detailed, street-level maps of the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. For those who prefer two wheels over four, the aera is also compatible with Garmin’s zūmo 660 motorcycle mount. The aera allows for quick searches of street addresses or millions of preloaded points of interest like gas stations, hotels, restaurants, attractions, ATMs and more. In automotive mode, the device will speak street names so drivers will receive turn-by-turn, voice prompted directions through the aera’s built-in speaker, such as “turn right on Main Street.” If they miss a turn, the aera automatically recalculates a route and gets them back on track.

The aera 550 and 560 come equipped with advanced routing capabilities like lane assist with junction view so drivers will see a realistic presentation of road signs and junctions along the route, as well as arrows that indicate the proper lane for navigation. These features make it easy to navigate unfamiliar intersections and exits because the aera guides drivers to the correct lane for an approaching turn or exit. Map data is provided by NAVTEQTM – a world leader in premium-quality mapping.

The benefits of XM and XM WX Satellite Weather capability are also available in automotive mode. While in the automotive mode, drivers may overlay weather information along their route, as well as simultaneously choose from XM radio’s 170-plus channels of XM digital music, news and programming.  XM radio and XM WX Satellite Weather subscription data is available from XM WX Satellite Weather, and is only available in the U.S. or Canada.

All aera products also have Bluetooth® Wireless Technology that makes it possible to receive and place phone calls directly from the aera while in automotive mode. It can be paired with over 200 Bluetooth enabled phones, and a driver can retrieve and dial numbers using a supported phone’s contact list, the phone’s call history log, or the aera’s preloaded points of interest database.

The aera 500, aera 510, aera 550 and aera 560 are available immediately for an expected street price of $799, $1299, $1499, and $1999, respectively. XM WX Satellite Weather data and audio is provided by XM Satellite Radio.  Please see http://www.xmradio.com/weather/aviation.html for pricing and other details. Additional information about the aera is available at www.garmin.com.

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