17% of Americans have a GPS device, 34% are handheld, 33% are car-mounted

According to Harris Interactive, 17% of US adults currently own or use a GPS location device or service. The most widely used devices were small handheld systems (34%) and portable car-mounted GPS systems (33%). Other systems used include GPS-enabled PDAs or laptop computers (26%), cars with integrated GPS systems (25%), cell phones (13%) and other (7%). Key features for GPS owners include automatic route recalculation for driving errors (with 81% finding them extremely or very useful) and real-time traffic update (75%). Other key features rated useful by GPS owners are multiple destination routing (73%), voice guidance and alerts (71%) text to speech capability (71%), inclusion of points of interest such as hotels or restaurants (63%), proximity alerts (57%), 2D and 3D maps (57%) and Bluetooth interface (45%).

There are a few features that GPS owners may not take advantage of with their GPS system. Just over two-thirds (68%) say that digital picture slideshows are not useful on GPS, and even with the popularity of digital music, a substantial majority (69%) feels that digital music capability on a GPS is not very useful or not at all useful. While some cell phones offer turn-by-turn instructions, similar to handheld GPS systems, awareness of these services remains relatively low with about one in five (19%) adults saying they are highly aware (8% extremely aware and 11% very aware) of the service. 15% of those who have a cell phone are interested in getting GPS service on their next cell phone, with half of them citing that having GPS would make them feel more secure knowing where they are at, regardless of city (53%) or that it would help them to find alternative routes around traffic congestion (47%). Thirty-eight% say that providing fast and direct turn-by-turn directions to business meetings/appointments is a benefit, while one-third say they would never have to stop and ask for directions (33%) or get lost in an undesirable part of town (29%).