Lexus Soarer and GPS
Thursday 23rd September 1999
Hi ! I've set up this page because, over the years, I've had a regular trickle of enquiries from Lexus Soarer owners all asking similar questions: "I've just purchased a second-hand Lexus Soarer, but the GPS Navigation System only works in Japan. Can you help me find a suitable CDROM, etc ?"
Replies to all have been similar: "Sorry but you are unlucky - it's a bit like trying to find Betamax VCR tapes, when everbody now uses VHS". That's not a fair comparison, since in-car GPS navigation is still not a commonplace option. But it is true that it will probably cost more to modify or fit a new system into the Soarer, than it would be to 'start from scratch' in a less sophisticated car.
The reason I get these enquiries is that, starting over 5 years ago, our GPS Software appeared in ten UK Television programmes, two of which showed it being used in a Lexus Soarer. Pictures from these programmes can be seen on the 'As On TV' Page
GPSS runs under Microsoft Windows on a Car-PC or Laptop PC. For the exercise of making the TV programmes, we simply took the VGA video output from the back of a Laptop PC, fed it through a 'GrandView' box to convert into NTSC Television video, and fed this into the Soarer's TV screen. We also took the sound output from the Laptop (GPSS speaks to guide you) and fed this into the Soarer's sound system. All this work, including over-riding of micro switches, was done by Martin Dix of Intec, based at Thruxton UK. That's Martin on the left, being interviewed on TV. Maybe Martin can help you with modifications to your Soarer, or put you in touch with someone who can. Martin is on Tel. 44 1264 773888. If you want to download the GPS Software, you can do it from the GPSS Download Page