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Navigation GPS Systems



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    I use my smartphone as a GPS and it's pretty darn good as long as you rely more on the audio than the visual, because of a) smaller screen and b) difficulty in bright sunlight. I think in the past year it only made two outright errors--that is, didn't know about detours, etc.

    I mounted mine down low near the console to keep it out of bright sun, and I plug it into the car's audio system through the iPod jack. I don't think I've ever had it drop out on me.

    One thing I often do with it is, even if I already know my route, I put it on mute and watch the screen to warn me how many miles to my turn-off---this is handy because I'm often dueling with big rigs on SF highways and they tend to line up tight on the right to exit from one major artery to another. So if you want too long, you aren't getting off on that exit without taking your life into your hands.

    it also shows traffic tie-ups with a red line (if you select this feature) and you can also grap it and talk to it and ask for a gas station or a Starbuck's, have to cancel previous navigation--it can't do two things at once.

    Can any NAV system do two things at once? I don't know :confuse:

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  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    edited March 2012
    Navigation direction and distance are available on the Buick LaCrosse HUD. It works great.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited March 2012
    Can traffic modification after route is planned be turned off?

    On Garmin models you basically go to Avoidances and disable Traffic as an avoidance. It will still warn you, but it will not re-route you.

    I believe there are 3 different systems that get traffic:

    1. As Gary mentioned, an FM station receiver that goes on the power cord, this is the most common, and no monthly fees make it popular.

    2. XM traffic. This is delivered via the XM radio service, so you have to subscribe and pay a monthly fee, usually bundled with satellite radio. For whatever reason $17 a month rings a bell, but don't quote me on that.

    3. MSN-based. They had a $50 annual fee last time I checked, but the fee also includes gas price information.

    Keep in mind that these tend to work in urban areas where such services already exist, and the information itself is a bit delayed, you may find out about a jam 20 minutes or so after it started. I've found that live radio broadcasts are more up-to-date vs the FM traffic.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    Thank you. That is good information.

    I know I can look at traffic cameras and see color-coded traffic speeds from Dayton to Columbus online. I assume it's that same source giving that data to the online info that gets to the GPS units.

    >live radio

    I understand what you mean there. My thinking is sometimes in strange areas I have no idea what station might give traffic, if any do. And the traffic slowdown info might help avoid long duration accidents in the middle of KY, e.g., on I-65 between Louisville and Nashville. Furthermore, in some areas they give lists of accidents and I would have no idea where Ganglion Rd on I-70 might be.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Got company visiting this week and using a new Garmin. First time user. :shades:

    Somehow, once in the UP, she managed to change the language to Spanish and mute it at the same time. Wound up driving two hours out of her way. And got a speeding ticket to top it off. No map, no phone. :shades:
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    AAA never leave home without their maps. NAVs are fun but less than reliable too many times. Even google maps are not perfect with your Smartphone. Probably the best available.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Then there are those of us who decide Jill is wrong and don't follow the Nav instructions, only to find out that she was right once again.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    Jill sometimes plans strange routes and doesn't take the best road for driving and speed.

    That's why I was curious about the GPSs that plan based on traffic. Some seem to do maps based on patterns of daily traffic but not necessarily on that day.
    Others seem to do realtime planning of routes.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    change the language to Spanish

    I'm surprised she didn't end up in Tijuana! :D
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Had a chance to sample both at a BMW event.

    C250 Navi had a small screen, I'll guess 6" but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Despite the smallish size, it was very sharp, definitely HD. Reminds me of the E class, only the C's screen is definitely smaller. Fonts for the roads are too small, also.

    The interface has gotten a lot better over the years, but our test drive was too short to figure out much besides zooming in and out and panning around a bit.

    BMW's system was wider and had a split screen on the new 328i, so that you could still see a narrow map if you want to fiddle with the radio. Not as sharp, and still very small fonts, in fact I'd need reading glasses to read street names, but then I'd have trouble seeing the road ahead at high speeds. Doh.

    Drove off in the van, which has the 7" Magellan custom mounted, and the screen is bigger than either and a little easier to read to boot.

    With Cadillac and Lexus offering 12.3" built-ins, these smallish built in screens seem very dated already.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited June 2012
    That reminds me - she got a Nuvi 2525 with a 5 inch screen and thinks the screen is too small. Found it a bit hard to read.

    Not sure why she bothered in the first place. She's moving back to the Alaska Bush soon and she's sure not going to be able to get much use out of it there. Probably will come in handy for trips in pedestrian mode when she gets Outside for vacations.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Haven't shopped in a big do the Garmins get nowadays? Can you get a 7" one? Do they have an input for a backup cam?

    When I looked the 7" screens they sold didn't even have batteries. They were for big rigs, for permanent mounts.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Looks like 5" is the biggest Garmin makes for automobiles and they have no backup camera input.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, I was just browsing their site.

    Not much new since my 1490LMT model. Just some thinner ones, and HD radio traffic (I think?). Also some take voice commands now.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Anyone using this or something similar?


    Looks like maps with real time updates, no more dead ends, real time cops and accidents and a gas finder rolled into one.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    Must be tied to Google maps program. It looks like a useful tool. Though will it cause more accidents with people fiddling with their Smartphone while driving?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Augmented reality windshields are going to fix that problem. :) (WSJ link)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think it's a great idea.

    Dash tried this but didn't get enough buy-in from people.

    The fact that this works on Apple or Android should help it a lot.

    Too bad I'm stuck with BlackBerry (required for work).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Some people will see that female in the windshield and then slam on the brakes and get rear ended. :D
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "That $3,000 navigation system in your new car's dashboard "is most likely going to be outdated in three years," Green says. He estimates that a $2,500-$3,000 navigation system on a 2013 model car will lose most of its value and add no more than $300 to its resale value in three years when compared to a 2013 base model."

    How To Buy a Low-Tech Car
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,923
    Yeah, special order that new E-class with no nav (it can be done), just plan to keep it for the rest of your life, as you'll never be able to sell it. Although the option depreciates along with the car, it is expected in some classes of vehicle, and is a resale destroyer if lacking.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    At least pricing has come down to earth.

    I remember Subaru wanted $2200 for the Navi on my wife's Forester. For a smallish screen with no backup cam.

    Today the options costs less than half ($1000) and includes a backup cam.

    So getting $300 back for it is fine now. Residuals on a 3 year lease are around 52% or so, so if the Navi gets 30% back that's close enough.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I splurged on my Garmin and got another memory card for it (~$12). Now I'm overloaded with POIs for campgrounds and truck stops and pit stops and roadside attractions.

    Can you put POI files in a factory nav?

    (Oh, something must be dicey at Garmin - their warranty claims have exploded recently per Warranty Week - claims are up +584% as a percentage of sales over a year ago).
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    If your NAV has web access like the BMW you can use Google maps and be up to date. I would say that is the direction the OEMs need to go. When you buy an updated DVD for Toyota NAV it is already 3 years behind. Talk about worthless NAV units. I have just about talked myself into a JetPack on Verizon. Then buy a good WiFi tablet with GPS capability. $50 a month vs $100 plus for a smart phone.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    POI files are neat - I used one for speed traps and programmed mine to beep every time I approached to warn me.

    Funny thing is, there are so many it was beeping all the time!

    But yeah, the portables give you more control over stuff like that.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dad has a 200 convertible, and the UConnect system in there has won all sorts of awards.

    I just updated his and it still doesn't have he ICC here in MD, a year later. Disappointing since he lives right off the exit, so he's basically off the map all the time.

    I think the latest Garmin update finally has the whole ICC. Magellan's from last quarter only had the early phases, not the whole thing.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    Maybe people are seeing that it is the end of the road for these devices and trying to get their money back with shaky warranty claims. Look at Apple, they paid out over $2 billion in warranty claims last year.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited March 2013
    Yeah, but what if I just want the nav to beep whenever I'm within two miles of any Harbor Freight?

    A portable GPS can do that. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW Apple maps sucks. Really, it just blows.

    Sorry, just had to say it.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    Is Google maps up to speed on your roads? They do pretty well around here. I would think down loading Google maps automatically as you travel would be best. Hopefully whichever diesel SUV I get will have a good OEM. I don't think many are available without NAV.
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