GPS navigation and radar detection converged at the recent SEMA trade show in Las Vegas when Escort introduced its new GPS navigation unit with a built-in radar detection device.
The Passport iQ features a convenient and practical design, and its appearance doesn’t attract the same attention (or scrutiny from police) that a traditional radar detector might. The unit looks like a standard GPS system that attaches to your vehicle’s dash or windshield. It has a full-color, 5-inch, touch-screen display. Itineraries and corresponding voice-assisted directions come courtesy of Navteq navigation software, which powers popular GPS navigation systems for Garmin, Magellan and Navigon devices, as well as built-in GPS systems for BMW, Chevrolet, Honda, Ford, Volkswagen and Volvo.
Similar to models already on the market, the Passport iQ also alerts drivers to known red lights and speed cameras, and displays the posted speed limit on its screen, along with the vehicle’s traveling speed.
But if your lead foot tends to get the best of you, the secondary function—the radar detector—comes in handy.
At a suggested retail price of $650, the Passport iQ isn’t cheap. But it is two devices in one, and the potential savings, in terms of avoiding speeding tickets and hiked insurance rates, could pay for itself in a year or two. Just keep in mind that in Nevada, cops can nab you just by eyeballing your speed—they don’t have to have you on radar.