The Final Test: From Suzuka to Tokyo

<< 1. Behind the Success of the CVCC Engine
<< 2. Creating a Progressive Strategy
<< 3. A Gas-rate Gyro Comprising Just Eight Parts
<< 4. Gyrocator Development: A Path Strewn with Difficulties
<< 5. Could the Map Be Wrong?
<< 6. The Final Test: From Suzuka to Tokyo
<< 7. The Challenge of Digitization
<< 8. "A System That Cannot Lie"
<< 9. Analog to Digital: A Three-year Detour Leads to the Goal

A final evaluation was held at the beginning of 1981, the requirement of which was that the system could send Kume from a meeting of automobile dealers in Suzuka back to his house in Tokyo. Once Kume had circled the location of his house on the map, the car left Suzuka at six o'clock in the morning. Of course, Tagami did not know the exact location of Kume's house. They simply headed for their destination, getting on and off the expressways according to directions given by Kume. By the time they reached Tokyo, it was already after seven in the evening.

The decisive moment was drawing near. Tagami was watching with eager anticipation as the indicator on the CRT got closer to the circle. Finally, he stopped the car.

"I believe your house is around here," said Tagami.
After a moment's silence, Kume replied, "Okay, you passed the test. My house is right over there."

The words resounded in Tagami's mind, as if to reward him for the completion of such a long and arduous journey.

It was the birth of the first navigation system ever developed for use in a car. In August 1981, the Honda Electro Gyrocator was introduced as a dealer option for the second-generation Accord. The new system was not just a shock to the automotive industry; it sent the electrical equipment makers running. The strategy that had anticipated the future of technology, together with an uncompromising effort to create a reliable gyro and dedicated maps, had led to a new era in automotive capability.
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