In the January 2020 Consumer Electronic Show, Garmin made the official introduction of its new portable car GPS product line named Drive series. There are four categories listed under the series including Garmin Drive, DriveSmart, DriveAssist, and DriveLuxe.
All devices in the series feature enhanced awareness features typically only available in luxury cars. Garmin Garmin DriveLuxe 50 NA LMTHD GPS builds on the DriveSmart featuring all the driver awareness alerts available added with a built-in dashcam.
The top of the range is DriveLuxe, which features better hardware specifications with forged metal design and HD Digital Traffic.
Traffic, Smart, Voice, Driver Alerts
- The Garmin DriveLuxe GPS Navigator provides driver alerts to promote safer driving and increase situational awareness. Alerts include alerts for sharp turns, speed changes, level crossings, animal crossings, and more. In addition, Garmin DriveLuxe notifies you when you drive badly on a one-way street and sends alerts to nearby school areas.
Garmin DriveAssist 50LMT
Garmin DriveAssist 50LMTAll new devices in the Drive series are noticeably different from each other in terms of screen size. Garmin DriveAssist 50LMT is one of the least generous with a 5-inch display that produces 480 x 272 pixels resolution.
It comes with built-in maps of North America and free lifetime map updates. Although this is not the top range device in the series, it is stuffed with helpful features including awareness alerts and traffic information.
The highlight of DriveAssist 50LMT is its built-in dashcam capable of recording videos along your trip and capturing geo-tagged still images. No other device in the new series has this additional hardware.
Many features of the built-in camera are similar to those of a stand-alone one for examples Incident Detection by using G-sensor and direct video playback onboard. Videos and images can also be played on Garmin’s Dash Cam player where you can see more detailed information about your location on the map.
Driver Awareness feature works by giving alerts for certain driving conditions that potentially lead to alarming situations. DriveAssist 50LMT GPS provides alerts when you are driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street or when approaching red lights and speed cameras. You also get alerts anytime there is a school zone nearby and a sudden halt in traffic.
Common driving difficulties are also covered for examples railroad crossings, speed changes, sharp curves, and animal crossings. When you’ve been driving for many hours without resting, the device even gives you a fatigue warning.
Because Up Ahead functionality is included as well, it is easy to see if there is any place for you to park and rest without leaving the main driving map view.
“Go Alert” Features
Utilizing its built-in camera, Drive Assist 50LMT brings several useful additions to the default Drive Awareness features. It has a “Go Alert” which automatically kicks in at red light when the vehicle in front of you has started to move.
Forward Collision Warning & Lane Departure Warning
The dashcam is able to give Forward Collision Warning when you are driving too close to the vehicle ahead. Also, when you are drifting into oncoming traffic or to the wrong lane, its Lane Departure Warning activates.
Apart from those, the dashcam switches the main driving map view into a real-time video recording feed when you are approaching your destination. A clear bright arrow indicates any selected address.
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All navigational features available in the DriveAssist 50LMT can be activated with voice commands, allowing you to keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road.
Hands-Free Calling & Notifications
When the device is paired with a compatible smartphone via Bluetooth, the navigator allows you to make hands-free calling, and receive notifications directly on its screen. Notifications are user-adjustable, meaning you can configure which ones to show and hide. If detailed weather and traffic information are desired, you can download and install Smartphone Link mobile app on your smartphone and pair it with the GPS navigator.
Even without the mobile app, Drive Assist 50LMT has its own Traffic Avoidance and situational update sent directly to the navigator. This feature is provided free of charge for a lifetime. Information may include possible delays, route choices, and detours.
Garmin DriveLuxe 50 NA LMTHD GPS
Although equipped with the same screen size as the Garmin DriveAssist 50LMT, the 5-inch screen on the DriveLuxe 50LMTHD produces better resolution at 800 x 480 pixels resolution. DriveLuxe is the top range category in the new series, but it has both improved and decline in terms of features.
Besides providing more pixels resolution, DriveLuxe gives a metal body and better traffic update information. Instead of using the typical traffic update seen in many of Garmin’s car navigators, it brings HD Digital Traffic to cover a greater area and more frequent updates every 30 seconds. You can even activate the function by using spoken commands. HD Digital Traffic is a free service without a subscription or any additional fee.
Garmin DriveLuxe 50 NA LMTHD, however, does not have a built-in dashcam, so the Driver Awareness features are not assisted by any camera of any sort.
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