An improved remote control unit for an in-vehicle navigation system and methods for use thereof. The improved remote control unit includes a re-writable data storage memory and a data reception interface through which data from an external computing device can be transmitted to the remote control unit and stored in the re-writable data storage memory. The remote control unit also includes appropriate programming that provides for receiving data from an external computing device, storing the data in the re-writable data storage memory, and then transmitting the stored data from the re-writable data storage memory to the in-vehicle navigation system from a data transmission interface of the improved remote control unit. The improved remote control unit can also be used to transfer data from the in-vehicle navigation system to an external computing device. In one embodiment, the data reception interface is implemented by replacing the uni-directional infrared transmitter of a conventional remote control unit with a bi-directional infrared interface capable of both transmitting and receiving data.