Today, satnav is no big deal. A lot of cars come with it, and even if yours doesn’t, a portable handheld unit is not expensive. Heck, very soon we’re sure that everyone’s mobile phones will have satnav capability for free anyway. But back in 1981 the technology simply wasn’t there and so Honda’s solution was this, the Electro Gyrocator.
What you do, is pick the appropriate map for your area (you get a book full of maps with each system as below) and you feed the transparency into the bottom of the unit. Then you scroll up and down the map to mark where you are, and presto! As you drive, the map will move along with you and when you reach the end of each map, the instruction is to stop the car, and feed in the next map!
How does the system do this without the help of satellites? In the very best Soichiro Honda tradition of rocket science, Honda developed an experimental type of gas gyroscope, which could be used to accurately measure a car’s movement and plot that same relative movement on the scrolling map. Of course you can’t just type in the address of your destination, you can only mark it on the map with an X and then well…drive towards it, with the Electro Gyrocator plotting your progesss on the scrolling map.
This is better than sat-nav technology, this is old-school JAMES BOND technology, and was seen as a very awesome gadget back in the day! It didn’t come cheap though and was a Y300,000 option on the Accord, almost a 1/4 of the purchase cost of the whole car.