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Dash and Yahoo Empower Cars With Local Search Engine

The Dash Express device, scheduled for release in California in the spring of 2007 and nationwide in the fall, boasts two-way connectivity to help keep map and traffic data timely.

Lost drivers may soon have a better chance of finding their destinations, thanks to a partnership announced today between Dash Navigation, makers of a wireless GPS navigation device, and Yahoo, the Avis of search engines, that brings local search to vehicles.

"When you use Yahoo Local search in your car, you will be amazed by the freedom that it delivers," said Dash Navigation CEO Paul Lego in a statement. "For the first time, drivers will be able to leave their homes knowing that they can easily find whatever they need -- right from their car. It's that simple."

As an example, the company suggests that "a Dash user who types 'croissants' will see a list of bakeries, cafes, and stores in the area that sell the pastry." (For some search terms, like "Starbucks," this may not be necessary in major cities since there's probably one within sight on any given block.)

Whether users will set out without a destination in mind, trusting in Yahoo Local to lead them where they want to go remains to be seen. But the Dash Express device appears to offer some advantages over local search on a cell phone.

The Dash Express, scheduled for release in California in the spring of 2007 and nationwide in the fall, boasts two-way connectivity to help keep map and traffic data timely. This lets the device communicate anonymously with other Dash units to share car speeds and locations for the purpose of route planning and traffic avoidance.

And if you're the sort who tends to plan where you're going before getting into the car, you can send addresses to the Dash Express from your computer.

Though pricing has yet to be finalized, the Dash units are expected to cost between $600 and $800, along with monthly fee that's likely to be somewhere between $10 and $14.

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