5 January 2017

Garmin adds free live services to 2017 Garmin Drive models

Garmin International has updated the Garmin Drive product line with portable navigation devices (PNDs) that now offer free live services*, providing the freshest, most updated content with industry-leading driver alerts to increase situational awareness and encourage safer driving. The announcement reaffirms the company’s commitment to refine and modernise PNDs with enhancements to its four models: Garmin Drive, Garmin DriveSmart, Garmin DriveAssist, and Garmin DriveLuxe.

The entry-level Garmin Drive 51/61 offers versatile driver alerts, while the Garmin DriveSmart 51/61 adds smart connected features. Customers looking to record their drive can consider the camera-assisted Garmin DriveAssist 51, while the premium Garmin DriveLuxe 51 features a sleek metal casing. 

“Thanks to the enhanced feature set of our 2017 Drive navigators, it’s easy to see how consumers can benefit and rely on them every time they step in their vehicles,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin VP of worldwide sales. “Free live parking and traffic, plus new travel information lets drivers enjoy the actual ride and save precious time when heading to work, driving on family road trips, or running errands.”

Like their predecessors, the new Garmin Drive navigators boast a number of driver alerts. These include warnings for upcoming sharp curves, railroad or animal crossings, alerts for users driving the wrong way on a one-way street and more. Drivers also receive alerts for red light cameras**, speed cameras and more. Garmin Real Directions simplifies navigation by guiding drivers using recognisable landmarks, buildings and traffic lights.

The entry-level Garmin Drive 51/61 adds free real-time services, such as live traffic* for select models when wirelessly paired with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. After pairing to a smartphone, drivers can also enjoy live parking* information from Parkopedia, the world’s leading parking service provider. Parkopedia provides pricing and availability trends for on-street public parking as drivers approach a destination. Other real-time services such as LiveTrack* allow drivers to share their location with friends. Preloaded TripAdvisor data comes with all 2017 Drive models so drivers can see ratings for popular travel points of interest, such as hotels, restaurants and attractions.

The Garmin DriveSmart 51/61 boasts all of the features from the entry-level Garmin Drive models, and adds built-in Wi-Fi for easy map and software updates when connected to a Wi-Fi network. Customers can choose from a 5" model or the new 6.95" edge-to-edge touchscreen that offers a high-resolution, easy-to-read display. Keeping drivers connected is an essential asset of the Garmin DriveSmart series and is done through hands-free Bluetooth calling***, voice-activated navigation, and smartphone pairing to receive text messages and app alerts right on the navigation display*. 

The 2017 Garmin DriveSmart models can be paired with a Connect IQ-compatible Garmin smartwatch such as the new fēnix***** (sold separately) to provide compass guidance from a parked vehicle to a destination and back to the parked vehicle again.

Garmin DriveAssist 51 builds on the Garmin DriveSmart feature set and adds a built-in dash cam**** with audio recording to continually record and save video footage on impact with the included microSD card. The integrated camera enhances advanced driver awareness alerts such as Forward Collision***** and Lane Departure Warnings*****. 

To take some of the guesswork out of navigating to new address locations, Garmin Real Vision shows a live camera view on the display with an arrow pointing out the specific destination. The “Go” Alert notifies distracted drivers when standstill traffic ahead of their vehicle begins to move. Garmin DriveAssist has the added benefit of being a personal companion if users encounter an incident during a drive. This model can send an automatic text**** to a friend and provide them with the vehicle’s location. Additionally, the navigator’s Travelapse feature can turn long hours of driving footage into a short video recap of the adventure. By downloading the free Garmin VIRB app, drivers can create Travelapse videos and share them on social media.

The stylish Garmin DriveLuxe 51 is a premium navigator that includes the full feature set offered in the Garmin DriveSmart series, framed in metal. This navigator is secured with a powered magnetic mount to convenient stowage.


The Garmin Drive lineup has models with various map regions, display sizes, and navigation features. Local availability and pricing will be announced on a later date. Suggested retail prices for the US range from US$149.99 to US$329.99. The Garmin Drive product line is expected to be available in February of 2017 in the US.

Read the WorkSmart Asia blog posts about new apps at the Garmin Connect IQ Store and about Garmin's three multisport GPS wearables

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*To receive live services and smart notifications on your navigator, you must download the free Smartphone Link app. User’s data plan charges, if any, will apply. Contact your mobile service provider for more information about your service plan’s data and roaming rates. Requires Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, sold separately.

**Red light and speed camera warnings may not be available in your region.

***Requires Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, sold separately.

****Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of the dash cam feature. It is your responsibility to know and comply with applicable laws and rights to privacy in jurisdictions where you plan to use Garmin DriveAssist.

*****Certain conditions may impair the warning function. Visit Garmin.com/warnings for details.