Rand McNally shifts to OverDryve

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(February 14, 2016) There was a time not too long ago when you never went out on a road trip without bringing along your Rand McNally Road Atlas. This large format book was an invaluable addition to the typical road map, and let you plan your trip with near pinpoint precision. As long as you had the latest issue, that is.

Often road works and construction projects would change the landscape or add roadways that could get you to your destination quicker. But the advent of in-car electronics pretty much put an end to thes
e books, making them as scarce as people able to read — and fold — a roadmap.

Rand McNally, however, noticed that most of the cars and light trucks on the road aren’t equipped with the latest infotainment systems. This led to the development of OverDryve. According to Stephen Fletcher, CEO of Rand McNally, “The vast majority of the 250 million U.S. cars and light trucks on the road today don’t have sophisticated electronics – features such as voice recognition and control, hands-free texting and forward collision detection, just to name a few. OverDryve upgrades ordinary vehicles by providing an advanced connected-car experience for a fraction of the cost.”

The dash-mounted tablet includes:

  • A voice-controlled smart assistant
  • Hands-free calling and texting
  • Music from drivers’ favorite sources
  • Audible news, weather, traffic and sport
  • Forward collision warnings
  • A dash camera and available high-resolution wireless backup camera
  • Customizable gauge clusters and vehicle information
  • Available tire pressure monitoring
  • Award-winning trip planning and navigation
  • An FM radio
  • Wired and wireless connectivity to in-dash radios
  • Available roadside assistance and accident notification

An easy to install magnetic mount allows the driver or passenger to quickly attach or detach the tablet, and some features are disabled when the unit is in use by the driver or attached to the mount. They are reenabled when the screen is removed from its mount by the passengers or in use outside the car. In this mode, OverDryve can be used to watch movies, access social media, and check email.

The unit is due to arrive in stores this spring. It has a suggested retail pice of $399.

The Virtual Driver