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This Patent Application has received a non-final rejection by the US Patent Office! An initial rejection is part of the typical course of a patent application.


AN OVERBROAD PATENT ON a navigation device with alternative route calculation - This application from TomTom seeks to patent the idea of...providing a navigation instruction together with alternative navigation instructions to a destination! 10 minutes of your time can help narrow US patent applications before they become patents. Follow @askpatents on twitter to help.

QUESTION - Have you seen anything that was published before 9/13/2010 that discusses:

  • providing alternate routes to a driver without the driver being required to request a calculation of an alternative route

If so, please submit evidence of prior art as an answer to this question. We welcome multiple answers from the same individual.

EXTRA CREDIT - A reference to anything that meets all of the criteria to the question above AND ALSO displays multiple potential navigation routes simultaneously

TITLE: Navigation device with alternate route calculation

Summary: [Translated from Legalese into English] A navigation device that calculates multiple routes for a driver and displays them simultaneously (without the driver being required to request a different route)

  • Publication Number: US20130173159 A1
  • Application Number: US 13/822,791
  • Assignee: TomTom
  • Prior Art Date: Seeking prior Art predating 9/13/2010
  • Open for Challenge at USPTO: Open through 12/31/2013

Claim 1 requires each and every step below:

A navigation device, the navigation device operable to calculate routes to one or more destinations,

  1. the device further operable to provide a navigation instruction together with

  2. an alternative navigation instruction.

In English this means:

A navigation device which calculates routes to destination (or multiple destinations), which:

  1. provides navigation instructions; and

  2. provides instructions on alternative routes

Good prior art would be evidence of a system that did each and every one of these steps prior to 9/13/2010

You're probably aware of ten pieces of art that meet this criteria already... separately, the applicant is claiming displaying multiple routes simultaneously without the driver requesting a "re-route"


"Providing multiple routes to a driver" from the Applicant


What is good prior art? Please see our FAQ.

Want to help? Please vote or comment on submissions below. We welcome you to post your own request for prior art on other questionable US Patent Applications.


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4 Answers 4

My 2006 Infiniti G35 Coupe had a navigation system that provided both of the features shown in the claims. It showed a map with different colored lines for the fastest and shortest routes along with another for a route with no freeways.

Edit I found this in page 5-3 of 2008 C35 Nav user manual.

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The google maps website made any laptop a device that did this in 2009. It showed multiple routes, and gave navigation instructions for each route. This blog post announced the feature on May 22, 2009: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/05/would-you-like-some-extra-suggestions.html

The screenshot in the announcement shows a map with multiple routes calculated, times and distances for each route, and navigation instructions for the selected route.

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The Waze application for Android and iOS precisely performs both claims 1 and 2.

1) Waze provides navigation instructions. From their home page:

Waze is the world's fastest-growing community-based traffic and navigation app.

2) Waze presents the user with alternate routes, and will change recommended routing on the fly.

Since Waze uses the time you expect to be at a road segment to calculate the expected speed on that segment, it cannot use real time data when you trip time moves into a future time slot. So trips of more than 30 minutes (and on average more than 15 minutes) will include future time slots where current traffic data is not available when initially calculated. When you enter a new time slot, real-time traffic data may be available which may cause your client to recalculate your ETA and reroute you at that point.

Waze was created in 2006.

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Weihua Zhu discusses intelligent re-routing of navigation systems for environmental concerns in his dissertation "Design and Development of Novel Routing Methodologies for Dynamic Roadway Navigation Systems" published in March 2009.

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