Can I get those instructions in MP3 format?? 🙂
……what happens if the roads are altered?
The same outcome as what happened with apple maps….
You can’t fix stupid.
Yay! Michael Rodd!
Pretty much my reaction; the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World was one of the key reasons I became interested in science and technology, back in the day.
Excellent programme that has never be matched since it was oddly deleted from the BBC’s portfolio.
Yes, I loved my weekly doses of technology and science with Tomorrow’s World, Horizon and The World Around Us. The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures were always good too (and I’m sure, longer than they are now) and useful for catching up on the latest thinking in whichever branch that year’s lecturer was a specialist in.
I was thinking the other way you could do a non-satellite based navigation sytem with ’70s technology would be to use transponders – and the next morning Yohai had posted the ‘Drive’ feature.
Pretty good for 1971!
The end pretty much sums it up, some things never change!
Reminds me of an onboard nav system in a rental car in Arizona maybe 15 years ago or so. Its voice was an Englishwoman’s, and it wasn’t very bright. Kept on leading us into culs-de-sac and other dead ends, and insisting that we make impossible turns—such as a right turn which, at any point in the reasonably foreseeable and recent history, would have put us into a noise-control wall, as we were on a freeway. And she grew steadily more insistent and sounded very cross when I didn’t do as she said, though she (only just) managed to stop herself saying things like “Neau, tuhn LEFT, you stchyewpid git!”.
We called her “Emma”, then we switched her off.
Clever system given the limited technology of the early seventies. We didn’t even have primitive computer chips quite yet. Certainly not a constellation of satellites, cheap microwave receivers and the computer smarts to make it all go.
Note the chrome trim on the VW’s engine cooling vents. I had one of those on my VW. It just pressed on with spring clips.
Actually we did have primitive computer chips at that time. The Intel 4004 4-bit CPU chip was released in 1971.
The Intel 8008 8-bit CPU was released in 1972.
Of course we’re talking about CPUs that had extremely limited capabilities by today’s standards.
Those people are so perfectly English!
Also, the VW had the busted turn signal lever which was standard equipment from about ’63 to ’65. The pot-metal casting was weak.
It also had a faulty flasher, which might also have been standard equipment.
Tyre size imput could help with google maps, then it would know I’m driving a truck and it doesnt fit well with some of the directions it hand out.
They really need a “truck route” option in google maps. Recently I’ve been stuck a couple of times behind a Semi with a ~50′ trailer on roads where it really isn’t a good idea. It starts with steep hill right off the freeway exit where we creep up the hill at 2-3 mph, then we get a nice tight corner with a guard rail to clip with the end of the trailer.
The idea of “self-drive hire cars (from London Airport to the big hotels in the city centre)” means something completely different now than it did then when it meant what Americans call a rental car.
That beep would get annoying fast!
The navigator’s voice sounds suspiciously like John Cleese…..I was waiting for it to yell at the driver the instant he took a wrong turn.
Hard to imagine Basil Fawlty driving anything but a British Leyland car, though. What would he complain about?
I suspect his instructions would be less clear, somehow!
Silly me, I had always thought the first in-car navigation system was the one available on JDM Honda Accords in 1981-82 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electro_Gyrocator ), which in some ways seemed even more primitive than this 1971 system. Its main issue seems to be that it needs to know not only the destination but also the starting point. Did this ever reach production? This is the first I’ve ever heard about it.
The narrator seems to think most wealthier Americans routinely get around in chauffeur-driven cars.
Great post! That is a remarkable piece of yester-tech. It was more sophisticated than I imagined when it began. I thought it would require pausing and unpausing the tape when you pass certain visual cues. It actually had variables that you altered with a circuit board change! I also like the way the man said “a prerecorded cassette of tape” or something like that.
So British, you know…
The cars featured in the background were neat too. I only recognized a Karmann-Ghia at first glance. They really drove/drive small cars there don’t they? A ’57 Chrysler would have a tough time there. Or a Lincoln Blackwood, etc.
Chatham is an old town so yes, the roads are rather narrow on the whole (there is a by-pass now though). Spotted plenty of ’60s staples (Anglias, Minis, A35, 1100s, Vivas) there, the newest model was probably the Hillman Avenger near the start. In those days small cars were mostly about 5′ to 5′ 4″ wide, these days even a Ford Fiesta is over 5′ 8″ wide. There are a lot more one-way roads in urban areas nowadays!
Some tasks are just not suited to old mechanical/analog tech. We have to award them an A for effort, though, as there was some serious effort that went into this.
It is odd that the system did not use road names, thus providing the driver some confirmation that he was on the correct route. Also, don’t get stuck and spin your wheels too much or the whole plan falls apart.
Not so much of a problem for that VW. Rear wheel drive, but the speedometer cable is driven by a front wheel.
It’s all fun and games, until a wrong turn is made. Despite the device’s proper English, somehow I doubt the word “Recalculating” is in its vocabulary. 😉
All kidding aside, this is pretty cool considering the times. It’s definitely more sophisticated than the scrolling map thing from the late thirties or early forties that was posted here some time ago. (Can’t find the link at present…*)
*… update: I found this link to it, but I thought there was an actual article on it here…
The picture is about 1/2 way down this PN post.
Five years on and Bosch introduced a system of their own:
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