Honda's latest innovation lets Japanese drivers know if they should be rolling up the windows and locking their doors, or if they've found the ideal spot to abandon their vehicle, by downloading local crime figures to their GPS unit.
Overlaying crime data into a mapping application isn't technically difficult. Japanese sat nav systems already offer information on speed limits and points of interest, as well as real-time information such as weather and the availability of car-park spaces.
The service is to be launched today, and is available to the 660,000 members of Honda's Internavi Premium Club, according to the Mainichi Daily News.
The data covers car thefts and break-ins in 13 regions, and is provided by local police departments.
Technoride reports that US car makers are less enthusiastic about the idea, with concerns the system might end up guiding drivers away from areas populated by ethnic minorities - much like Armstrong and Miller's pikey-avoiding GPS skit.
So it seems Americans and Europeans will have to wait a while before their sat nav can tell them if it's safe to park, though Londoners won't need sat nav to tell them that anywhere south of the Thames is to be avoided. ®