To receive information, VICS-enabled car navigation equipment needs to be installed.
There are two types of VICS receiver, one receives only FM multiplex broadcasting,
and the other can receive information from beacons (radio/optical)
all together (this kind of device is called 'three-media-receiver).
If any receiver is not built in your navigation equipment, you need to install external receiving set.
The History of Car Navigation System
In Japan, car navigation equipments are more widely used than in any other country in the world. Today, we take it for granted that we receive various kind of information in our car. Let us explain how it has been developed, and what kind of progress has led to the today's prevalence.
In the early 80s, the first car navigation equipment was invented, using analog-map and gyrocompass. By moving a point on the map drawn on a clear film, It could represents the present location. After that, development of digital map has begun. The navigation equipment with digital map CD-ROM was brought to market in 1987, and the device with GPS (global positioning system) was released in 1990.
2.Emergence of CD-ROM
In 90s, Japanese roadmap was digitized on a scale of 1 to 25,000, in an effort to improve accuracy.
To improve the accuracy of present location, it is very important to specify the absolute position.
Autonomous navigation had been major method, using gyrocompass and geomagnetic sensor. But at the end of year 1993, when US military global positioning system (GPS) formally became open to commercial use, two types of new navigation system were developed. One was with electronic navigation of GPS, and the other one was hybrid navigation system with autonomous navigation.
At the time, major technologies such as CD-ROM, Digital map, GPS, and LCD display had been developed. The heyday of car navigation system was about to begin.
3.Rise of DVD-ROM
A CD-ROM had too small memory to store entire data of nationwide map, detailed large-scale map and useful information for search purposes. Data had to be split into multiple CD-ROMs.
Under this frustration, manufacturers of car navigation equipments immediately adopted DVD-ROM after knowing it had been under development. DVD-ROM has 7.5 times as large capacity as that of CD-ROM,.
In 1996, long-awaited VICS, real-time road traffic information system began it's services. And in 1997, DVD navigation equipment and VICS FM receiver were bought to market at the same time. That was the watershed in the history of VICS penetration.
The more the number of navigation equipment with VICS built-in increased, the more recognition of VICS was rising.
4.Advent of Hard Disc
From the early age of car navigation system, it had been said it's like a personal computer. By the downsizing and improvement of HDD(Hard Disc Drive) for PC, and by the development of application technology for navigation equipment, a hard disc drive model with map data was released in 2001. HDD has the advantage of fast access speed,, but it also has capability for information acquisition and data update, by accessing network like other PCs.
It also has a possibilities to store map-related information in it's large memory, and will be able to used as music server, opening the way to digital entertainment world.
Up to the present time, Japanese car navigation system has become one of the most excellent products in the world through the persistent efforts by manufactures and various improved features: route guidance for congestion, audio assist, maps with 3D effect, zoomed image of traffic intersection, destination information sign, improvement in driver assist, indication of lane information, wide screen for better visibility, high-quality picture technologies, pursuit of high accuracy, etc.
In the future, you will be able to receive real-time information on faraway region (traffic information, for example), by the development of telematics and communication technologies.