Computers: Driving by the Glow of a Screen

Electronic maps put a high-tech fantasy on the dashboard

More than two decades have passed since moviegoers first watched James Bond tail a Rolls-Royce to Goldfinger's Alpine retreat by tracking a moving blip across a screen on the dashboard of his Aston Martin. Now advances in computer technology have turned this Hollywood fantasy into automotive reality.

In California, some 2,000 motor vehicles -- from Michael Jackson's Mercedes- Benz to Palo Alto garbage trucks -- have been equipped with a gadget called the Navigator, which helps drivers get to a destination by displaying their vehicle's location on a glowing green map. And beginning next month, visitors to three hotels and six...

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