Garmin, a well-known maker of satellite navigation systems, and German automaker BMW have teamed up to offer Garmin’s Nüvi 360 device in selected 1 and 3 series BMW models.
Rather than install an integrated sat-nav system in the instrument panel, whether as part of the radio’s head unit or next to it, BMW has instead opted to provide a docking station for the Nüvi 360 on top of the dashboard (instead of the usual windshield-mounted suction cups so often seen on portable sat-nav devices). This is cleverly integrated with the car’s electrical system, so there won’t be any wires coming out of the cigarette lighter/power adapter, as can be seen in some other aftermarket installations. Besides the docking station, the units are outfitted with special logos and a customized BMW database.
Because the docking station is wired into the car’s electrical system, the Nüvi 360’s built-in battery is always kept charged, allowing the driver to remove the device from the docking station and carry it when outside the car, thus making it useful when walking around an unfamiliar city as a pedestrian.