A dashboard gadget brings the Internet to highways, for traffic and local search.
By David Talbot
Company: Dash Navigation
Founding date: 2003
Funding amount: $71 million
This spring, after years of development, Dash Navigation finally released Dash Express, a two-way Internet-connected dashboard traffic gadget that brings a kind of social network to the highways. At its heart, the device is a traffic reporter; the company draws on existing traffic data and turns users’ cars into networked sensors that broadcast their speed and location (based on GPS data) to other Dash-equipped cars, warning of tie-ups and suggesting routes. Because Dash cars provide data from all roads, not just highways that may already have sensors, they fill in blank spots. In addition, the gadget is a search tool that taps the Web for any number of purposes, including location-based search for, say, Thai food, cheap gas, movies, or apartment rentals. Because it has an open programming interface, new search applications will keep popping up, says Robert Currie, Dash’s president. Dash makes money on sales and subscriptions.