GPS systems found in vehicles include portable navigation systems, built-in factory systems, telematics systems and aftermarket in-dash systems. Drivers select these systems based on their features and driving conditions.
Portable navigation systems are light, compact and easy to transfer from car to car. They offer most features available in built-in systems but require less money to purchase. Aftermarket in-dash systems form part of a premium stereo system and feature large screens that are easy to read. Some of these systems show real-time traffic conditions and can play DVDs.
Built-in factory systems are available as optional features when a person buys a vehicle. They carry additional features such as a backup camera or an audio system. They also have large screens with intuitive controls, mostly installed on the dashboard of the vehicle. Because they are built-in, owners cannot share them between vehicles.
GPS-capable smartphones function similar to portable navigation systems. They have features that provide instant traffic warnings and alternative route suggestions. Some phones allow drivers to enlarge onscreen controls for the GPS application to ease readability from the driver's seat.
Telematics systems combine GPS and cellular technology, allowing drivers to access a menu of services from the vehicle including roadside assistance, the location of stolen cars and emergency crash notification. The systems display direction instructions, maps and a graphic display indicating each coming turn.