Autonomy in Navigation

Two decades back, before the rise of the internet people’s biggest worry was always navigation. Especially when one went to a new city, it was a night mare. Despite purchasing a physical map you really couldn’t figure it out much as all streets looked predominantly the same. You ended up being lost most of the times and relied on strangers to guide you to your destination in the quickest and easiest way possible
Yet, the downside of asking strangers was that each person had their own way to tell and most often or not they ended up giving wrong directions which made you go on a longer route. Sometimes you may have ended up in a place completely opposite to the place where they intended to do.

One really couldn’t figure out a simpler solution for all this and it became a tough job for most people. Autos and cab drivers began exploiting the situation as they always ended up taking you a longer route to con you and ended up wasting a huge amount of time. I’ve personally heard several stories where auto drivers in railway stations have taken passengers almost the entire way across the city and reached back to the same area as their customers had no clue whatsoever or not.

Then came the launch of GPS in mobiles which pointed out your location of you and the cell tower. This was a big benefit to a lot of people as you at least began to have an idea of where you were. The biggest impact in navigational systems however was the development of Google Maps. A product so simple, free and yet incredibly powerful led to so many impact across every industry. Be it the transportation industry or the supply chain industry , federal authorities or even a manufacturing industry, there was not a single soul who didn’t rely on the power of Google Maps.

With Google Maps, all one had to do was login to the website and one could just specify the source and destination across any location in the world. Google Maps will instantly find the shortest path through an intelligent algorithm and displayed on the screen . Additionally it also specified the exact distance, time it takes to go between these points and also the intensity of traffic in this route . This was a revolutionary product that made lives so incredibly simple. The integration of Google Maps as a navigational app in mobiles probably nailed the final deal. These were then used by almost anyone with a smartphone to just guide them to their destination without even looking into their screen and purely relying on the voice navigation system of the app.
Police were able to identify where traffic was heavy through the colour coordinate systems of the Maps in their respective cities while cab drivers were now forced to take the exact route specified by the Google Maps

One of the biggest companies like Uber and Ola was also formed essentially because of a powerful navigation system which they could integrate in their car as well

I’d attribute a million thanks to the guy who ended up writing the code for this phenomenal innovation


This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can  apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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