OK, I watched the video and it is impressive. The navigation seems much better than I would have thought, though the examples he showed I can already do on my wife’s Acura TL GPS navigation (well all except the satellite photos). But that brings me to a big stumbling block that I can’t figure out how they will address it. How do you handle the satellite images outside of big cities or where the images are completely out of date?

When visiting my wife’s parents, I know Google Earth has the roads around their ranch (near Austin, TX), but the imagery is horrible. You can barely make out their house on it let along the large tank out front. I’d hope one could turn off the satellite image so it doesn’t distract from the road data. Also what will they do with areas of fast growth such as Phoenix or Las Vegas? A friend has been in his house for almost 3 years and their house still isn’t showing up on the imagery. Sure you could overlay the vector roads (which at least on my wife’s Acura are current), but that would be very confusing to many people.

Something as simple as the little “Map”/”Satellite” buttons on Google Maps probably would solve the problem, but I’m wondering if this Google Earth Navigation tool is still to much of a distraction for drivers rather than the systems designed for such a purpose. Can’t fault VW for hooking up with Google on this though.

Google Earth Navigation