Avis Where2 GPS Navigation

Remember when ... Avis was heavily promoting their Where2 service with commercials featuring Joshua Gomez and Garmin navigational devices? The year was 2007 and Gomez was at the beginning of his run as Morgan Grimes on the television comedy Chuck. The commercial's premise was Gomez's commercial character developing a strong affinity for the female-voiced Where2 navigation device in his rental car that found a golf course, food, and helped him avoid traffic. It was a commercial, so the concept of "love" had to be conveyed in very few seconds along to strains of Bonnie Tyler's 1983 hit Total Eclipse of the Heart.


We could joke that many relationships require following direction ...

Even in 2007, the pricing for this product was painful. Avis was also far behind in offering their provision of in-car navigation services. Hertz had a commanding lead in the navigation space -- Hertz's NeverLost product (flaws and all) was originally introduced in 1995; Avis introduced Avis Assist (handheld GPS) in 2003 and where2 (portable GPS) in 2006. And by the early part of the aughts, there were already (relatively) modern cell phones that provided navigation functions without spending $10 per day (plus taxes and fees) for a simple navigation device; mapping was one of the main reasons I had settled on a Blackberry 8700g instead of a more "mainstream" device.

Navigation aids were a profit center of rental companies in 2007 and remain so today -- the rental car companies are still happy to sell navigational services as add-ons despite many ways to avoid those fees. Users can bring their own devices from home and even intentionally download maps for offline use when heading to areas with limited (or no) cell network connectivity! Printed maps also remain an option, although a distressing proportion of the population no longer knows how to read one!

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