Dash Express arrives: GPS unit sends, receives real-time traffic data

511eqn0myml_aa280_We’ve known this was coming for some time and it’s finally here. Dash Navigation shot me a press release this morning and have announced that their Dash Express is available for $399.99 through Amazon. What’s unique about the Dash Express when compared to other GPS devices is its ability to communicate real-time traffic info to the Dash servers. This data is then sent back out to all other Dash Express units where the device can re-route you accordingly. Obviously the more Dash Express users there are, the more data will collected in real-time and the more useful the device will be. However, even without the in-car data, the Dash servers provide info from road sensors, commercial fleets and Inrix, a traffic data provider.You can also send address information to your Dash Express though Outlook e-mail or a web browser. Bear in mind that the connectivity will cost you: you’ll get 3 months free, but plans start at $9.95 a month after that. Amazon is showing that these units won’t ship until April 29th, so unfortunately, you’ll be stuck in traffic until then. Plenty more info after the jump in the full press release.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., and SEATTLE, March 27, 2008 – Dash NavigationTM, Inc. and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced that the highly anticipated Dash Express™, the first Internet-connected GPS device, is now shipping. Designed to deliver the most accurate traffic and destination information to consumers in their cars every day, the Dash Express is available for purchase immediately in Amazon.com’s Electronics store at www.amazon.com/gps.With two-way connectivity, Dash Express delivers traffic and destination information in exciting new ways, and offers a wide range of unique capabilities.Key features include:· TruTraffic™: Powered by the Dash Driver Network.Dash approaches traffic in an entirely different way – by collecting information from other people driving real commute routes, during real commute times. Each Dash Express anonymously and automatically sends its position and speed back to Dash’s servers. The servers then update all of the other Dash devices in the area with current road speeds, providing the most up-to-date traffic information available. The larger the Dash Network grows, the better traffic information becomes. Even the first Dash devices in an area get great traffic data since Dash also receives traffic information from road sensors, commercial fleets and other sources through its partnership with Inrix, the premier traffic data provider in the U.S. Dash adds further value by using these initial cars to calibrate the sensor data. The Dash Driver Network provides coverage on nearly 2 million miles of U.S. roads, and offers the only source of traffic flow data for arterials in addition to highways. The Dash traffic model also tracks approximately 10 times more road segments than any competitive products.· Internet-connected: Live content in your car.Unlike other GPS devices that can only access content from a static, pre-loaded database, Dash provides the most current, locally relevant information by using the power of the Internet, including Yahoo!® Local search and other trusted websites. With a touch of a button, customers can find everything from the cheapest gas station (and sort by price) to the latest concerts, the best restaurants, the closest yoga studios, dog-friendly parks or even nearby apartments for rent.· AutoUpdate: Advanced and always up to date.With its exclusive AutoUpdate feature, Dash has the unique ability to update and improve the Dash Express without requiring customers to connect it to a computer. Dash can automatically and wirelessly update software, maps*, and historical traffic information.· MyDash: Plan and personalize from your PC.Using the Send2Car™ feature, customers can send any address from the Web or e-mail directly to their device in seconds. Customers can even use the MyDash website to find or create new search lists and categories, and send them right to the Dash Express.“With more and more customers visiting Amazon to research and buy GPS devices, our goal is to continue to offer a wide selection and exclusive access to the latest and greatest consumer technologies,” said Paul Ryder, vice president of Consumer Electronics at Amazon.com. “GPS is one of the fastest-growing consumer electronics categories and we are pleased to be partnering with Dash to bring their next-generation solution to our customers.”“The synergy between Dash and Amazon make this a perfect pairing to bring this first-of-its-kind product to market,” said Paul Lego, CEO of Dash Navigation. “Amazon understands and caters to our tech-savvy target customers and Amazon’s Electronics store is one of the first places they turn to for product information and customer reviews. We can’t wait to get the Dash Express into the market so that we can start providing great real-time information to consumers in their cars every day.”“Personal navigation devices have to transform into dynamic services that go beyond simple directions and provide daily relevance to consumers,” said Thilo Koslowski, vice president and automotive practice leader at Gartner. “Successful navigation offerings will leverage network-based and community-generated data insights to offer a complete navigation experience and to build the foundation for new innovative location-based services in the future.”Pricing and availabilityThe Dash Express is available at Amazon.com for $399.99 and qualifies for FREE Super Saver Shipping or free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime.** Dash Express comes with a FREE three-month trial period and monthly rates are available for as low as $9.99. As part of any service plan provided by Dash, customers get data usage, including all map and software updates, traffic information as part of the Dash Driver Network, access to Yahoo! Local search and unlimited access to MyDash. There are no extra cellular or WiFi charges—Dash takes care of it all.More information about the Dash Express and Dash Navigation is available at www.dash.net.** Some restrictions apply; see www.amazon.com for details.About Dash Navigation, Inc.Dash Navigation finds the smartest way for people to get from A to B, and find everything in between. The company is located in Sunnyvale, Calif. and is funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital, Skymoon Ventures, Crescendo Ventures, Artis Capital and ZenShin Capital Partners. For more information visit Dash Navigation at www.dash.net.About Amazon.comAmazon.com, Inc., (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as books, movies, music & games, digital downloads, electronics & computers, home & garden, toys, kids & baby, grocery, apparel, shoes & jewelry, health & beauty, sports & outdoors, and tools, auto & industrial.Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Examples of the services offered by Amazon Web Services are Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS), and Amazon Mechanical Turk.Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, and the Joyo Amazon websites at www.joyo.cn and www.amazon.cn.As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.Forward-Looking StatementsThis announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to the expected timing and financial or other benefits of the Audible.com transaction, competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, significant amount of indebtedness, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com’s financial results is included in Amazon.com’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, and subsequent filings.*Some extremely large map updates may require a USB connection**Dash purchasers will receive one month free Dash Service at initial turn-on and two additional free months Dash Service after registering at www.mydash.net. The Dash Service is available for as little as $9.99 per month.Note: Dash Product and Dash Service subscription sold separately. Other fees and taxes, including a one-time activation fee to reactivate a deactivated Dash Product, may apply. The Dash Service and fees are subject to change, at any time as set forth in the Dash Service Agreement available at www.dash.net.