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Toyota Camry Hybrid Navigation System Questions



  • Determining the shortest route to visit a set of destinations is the classic "Traveling Salesman Problem." Your wife and thousands of other people (like FedEx and UPS execs) need a solution to this problem. Solving it analytically (that is, not resorting to finding the shortest distance by looking at all permutations of the destinations) has baffled mathematicians and specialists in Operations Research for years. I believe there is a partial solution that minimizes the number of permutations to be examined, but I am not sure. The short answer: it is unlikely that any navigation system has the capability you want.
  • weftoyweftoy Posts: 1
    James... did you ever get a fix to the phone book problem you mentioned? When I hit Telephone the speed dial comes up then when I hit the return icon the phone book is not enabled. Nor is the dial pad.. just as you mentioned. It worked great for the first 3 days I had the car.

  • acco20acco20 Posts: 211
    Is the car moving while you are trying these functions? A lot of items are disabled while the car is in motion.
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    Any word, news, or insight on the next update to the navigation system?

    Aside from it's other problems, there seem to be more and more places I go to that are not in my current navigation system (Version 6.1, I believe).
  • fredo48fredo48 Posts: 11
    TCH 07 - last week Nav screen black. Will not turn on, and will not eject CD's. Radio and bluetooth works. If I push audio button and then touch screen where station "buttons" are located (approximation as screen is black), the station will change. Dealer said it needed to be replaced - back up of at least a month for a new unit (I bet longer), Never had any problems. Car is 17 months old with 14K miles.
    Anyone with similar problem or suggestions. Thanks, Fred
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    I don't know if the NAV in my Sequoia is the same as your TCH. Mine is version 6.1. I have not found any missing roads in So Ca. I just do not trust its ability to find the most direct routes. It put me on a dirt road with a locked gate. Out of 3 routes none were the most direct on paved roads. I find this disconcerting if I were to trust it in an undesirable area that I was not familiar with.
  • bobschbobsch Posts: 1
    I'm new to this forum. I didn't get a NAV DVD with my 2007 TCH. Should I have? If not, how do I get one?
  • mdchachimdchachi Posts: 275
    Is your navigation system working? Can you see a map when you drive? If so, then you already have the DVD. It's in the unit. If not, then go back to the dealer and complain.

    If you're talking about the CD-ROM that explains the system then you may or may not be able to get one from your dealer but you can go to and see the same info.
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    The nav system sucks... my vocabulary failed me... but it is not worth the money for just the nav system... though I like everything else. I drive with a Garmin 350 which is accurate... wish they would update the system and make it more accurate. Don't waste your money.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    The nav system sucks

    I have to agree with you. If I had not gotten a very good deal on my Sequoia with NAV I would be real unhappy. Whoever did the mapping for the Toyota NAV units was not too worried about accuracy. Twice it has sent me on dirt roads as the shortest route. One had a locked gate for so long that is was rusted in place. The other was passable with four wheel drive in low range. The wannabe SUVs with AWD would not have made it. I also like the vehicle.
  • mdchachimdchachi Posts: 275
    Did you select "shortest" route? If so, don't do that. Use the default "quick" route which is the fastest per its calculations.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    Use the default "quick" route

    The reason we looked at the other 3 routes was the "default route" was almost 10 miles out of the way getting to the destination. The best route to my brother in laws place is 16 miles. The NAV wanted us to go 26 miles. The short route that it gave was on the gated dirt road at about 14 miles. It did not even find the best route with 3 tries. In baseball that is a strikeout. Toyota has struck out with their NAV system. I plan to file a complaint with Toyota on our first service.
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    Please tell us what they say, which I expect it to be something like... the nav system is corporate's doing not the dealer's.

    Also, having had gps systems for over 4 years, quite often you have to decide which way to go and let the unit compensate. I have had two Garmin units and though I would rate them five star, I bring a Yahoo map with me to make sure it doesn't lead me too far off the beaten path.

    The other night, comiong back from a wedding I photographed; at midnight it put me on a secondary road instead of the main highway. Not being familiar with the area and being in the middle of a downpour I had to suffer through... though it got me home. Using the Garmin of course... the nav system on the TCH is not accurate.
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    If your dealer was throwing in the NAV system for free, I woud say you should have got it. Otherwise, it's not worth the money.

    Unfortunately, I must agree with those who said that the NAV system is not very accurate. In fairness, most of the time it gets me where I need to go. And on rare occasions, it is actually very helpful (in that I wouldn't have known how to get there otherwise). One notable example is a hotel I was going to when travelling out-of-state; my NAV system did find a back route that got me there quicker than I ever would have figured out on my own, even with MapQuest.

    However, there are far too many times -- my legitimate estimate is about 15% to 20% of the times -- where my NAV simply has no idea where I am going. What I mean is, I will try to input an address and the system will say "No such address exists." But what makes that so ludicrious is that I will get directions from MapQuest (which will have my destination address) and once I arrive at my destination, I will "bookmark" where I am (sorry, since I am not in my TCH as I write this, I do not remember the exact command), and more often than not the NAV system will say that I am at the exact address it originally said did not exist.

    Why couldn't the system allow me to input my destination address in the first place!?!?!?!? :mad:

    And on top of that, most of the time even when it gets the address right, it will still say, "You have arrived at your destination, the route guidance will now cease" while I am still 1/4 mile from where I want to be.

    If there is one thing I truly dislike about my Toyota Camry Hybrid, it is the navigation system. Although it has been useful at times, far too often I simply find it frustrating.

    But everything -- and I really do mean everything -- else about my TCH is great. That's why I keep hoping against hope that the next version of the NAV software will substantially improve it.
  • mdchachimdchachi Posts: 275
    That's one route so only one strike. If you get a poor route on the Internet also then you can't blame Toyota. If the Internet (Google, Yahoo, etc) is correct then most likely the issue is that the map data is incorrect in the vehicle but has been fixed on the Internet and, hopefully, will be fixed in the next map update from Toyota.

    Oh, and one more thing you can do to affect the routes is to adjust the default road speeds that it uses to calculate the routes. If you live in a rural area where people travel 50+ mph on two lane roads, then you should boost up the speed value so the system can take this into account.
  • mdchachimdchachi Posts: 275
    The most important thing you need to do is make sure your region is set correctly. Though it sounds like you've already done this otherwise you'd be unsuccessful 100% of the time.

    Secondly, it's a lot easier if you select the city first. That way it will narrow down the choice of streets.

    Third, avoid typing in the street prefix & suffix. If it's West Montcalm St, just enter "Montcalm" and pick the exact street name from the resulting list.

    Fourth, make sure not to put an ending space in the house number field. Occasionally I'll try to put the house # and street on the same line and if I forget to erase the space, it can't find the address.

    Following these tips should add at least 2% to your success rate. ;)
  • gfr1gfr1 Posts: 55
    I don't consider myself a technical expert, but I do have lots of experience with nav systems, since my career was in military and corporate international jets. I've had GPS systems in all my cars for 15 years. Initally they were aftermarket, of course, but same-same. Over the years, and with some systems, the situation has improved, but in general, they use a destination from a grid system. And, some "Blvd.s" and "Circles", etc., go around in curves (or even circles). This can cause destination accuracy issues because it doesn't follow a straight line grid. After all, it is done on a map scene and they don't survey all the houses and street numbers for the assigned street number. Can you imagine that effort and cost of that? This, of course, isn't a problem in aviation, as waypoints are pretty much point to point. Computer mapping also has this kind of error, I'm sure you've noticed. Now when you "Mark" a location from your current position, or with a Mouse arrangement, you aren't using the grid, but an actual position (spot), so the address issue doesn't enter in. Also, as for the system not finding an address, but recognizing it when you are there, may be a similar issue, or, the addresses people use, or are assigned by USPS, may not be in the physical city. For instance, I live in a suburb of Scottsdale, AZ. Many postal addresses are listed as Scottsdale, but are physically in Phoenix. Postal routes don't necessarily follow city limits. You might try some alternative city names in the area. For instance, the address of 6150 LaJolla Mesa Dr, LaJolla, CA can't be found in my Lexus or Mercedes, but comes up okay if I start the city entry program with San Diego, instead. Basically, I've found that they generally work well, if you understand the limits and logic, but don't expect them to take you to a doorstep, unless you physically point the destination to a spot rather than an adddress. There are ofter some vagaries, but I suspect it has to do with the logic -- maybe with your input preferences, but also the logic and priorities of the street assigned logic. Some systems think a street is better or worse that it really is (Number of lanes, speed limits, etc.), or the priorities of that street hasn't been updated, or, on occasion, they just seem to screw up! I guess that you understand that much of the U.S. hasn't been surveyed for auto systems and only have major thoroughfares and no street addresses?. But, if you understand the system capabilities, it recduces your expecttions and exasperation. -- GR
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    mdchachi and gfr1, thanks for your comments and advice. Sincerely. But except for entering the city first, I have previously tried (and checked) every one of your recommendations and they do not help. Or at least, they do not improve the overall performance of my NAV.

    I have literally gone to a place that I could not find on my NAV system, "bookmarked" (again, not the correct term but you know what I mean) the location and found it to be exactly what I unsuccessfully tried to put in in the first place.

    Moreover, I have copied the location from the "bookmark" EXACTLY like it showed up on my screen -- the correct and full address, city, abbreviations, everything -- and then tried to enter it back into the system and it will still say it cannot find the address. One example where I remembered this happened was 11 Florence Ave in Hempstead, NY.

    Again, as I admit above, I don't think I've ever tried to enter the city first (although when the system cannot find an address, I have [unsuccessfully] tried to have it search nearby cities). I will do that next time but I admit to not being overly optimistic.

    But what makes it so frustrating is that, without fail, I am able to find the address on MapQuest. So I know that somewhere these addresses exist. When I search for them, they simply come up; I don't even have to put in the city first. My hope is that the next version of the TCH NAV software will include them.

    gfr1, thank you for the technical explanation but, again, MapQuest, shows the addresses and provides accurate directions. For that matter, the navigation systems that come with Acura automobiles seem to do a much better job (as well as give you more points of interest). My question and frustration is, why can't Toyota (and Lexus?) do better?

    And mdchachi, the one thing I must ask you is how do you change the "speed value" for roads in the factory navigation system of a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    When I do the mapping in it gives two routings. The fastest and shortest. The shortest is the same as the Toyota NAV, on a dirt road that is locked and gated. However the fastest is in fact the fastest way to get to my brother in laws place. The NAV in the Sequoia does not show that route as one of the three. These are all old established roads. There is no excuse. I probably would not be so upset if I could get XM integration for traffic and listening. Buying the vehicle with the built-in NAV was a big mistake. There are many after market units that are far superior for less money.

    So Toyota struck out on all 3 routes. I imagine they will want an arm and a leg for any updates.
  • gfr1gfr1 Posts: 55
    Cost wise, there is quite a range for a nav DVD update. My Lexus DVD, for instance, is well hidden, with "some assembly required"! So, it is a dealer installation and costs a little over $500.00!! With my professional aviation background I'm inclined to always keep maps updated, but with this installation I ask about what's new and consider what I expect to be doing with that vehicle during the next year! In the old days, before the manufacturers sold their own installations & got their cut, the cost wasn't significant and revisions came out twice per year, directly from Nav Tech themselves. The OEMs recognize a profit center when they see it! Manufacturers contract for the features they want, also. For instance, my earlier aftermarket (Carin) nav systems had a page that listed the closest ten or twelve (as I remember) rest stops in distance sequence, all around the car. Then on the right side of the listing, after the distance, there was an arrow that pointed to each of the rest stops on the listing. It pointed and moved to track the facility during turns, or when passing them, etc. Then when the wife said she needed to stop, I had figured out, by direction and distance, which was coming up on my route and I activated the nav to it and it guided me to the facility. The roads to/from some of the facilities are quite complex, but it would display the road and steer you right to the door! Nice! That was back in the '92/'93 era. Same nav company that makes most of our current nav CD/DVDs, Nav Tech. GR
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    If you're looking for aftermarket GPS systems, a good source is the online GPS magazine website. I am not certain of the policy in this forum for listing other websites; otherwise, I would list it but you can probably guess exactly what it is.

    Regardless, the website is a little biased towards Garmin GPS systems, IMHO, but it is still very good and comprehensive. If you are looking for an aftermarket GPS system, I would suggest you look there.
  • mdchachimdchachi Posts: 275
    To change the default speeds it uses for its route calculations, go to:
    Menu > Setup -> Set Speed (Estimated Travel Time)
    and change to whatever suits you. I think I boosted my freeway speeds to 70 mph. I might have boosted up the secondary roads a tad too.

    I tried your Hempstead example. If I put in the city first, I get one choice: Florence Ave. If I don't, I get East Florence Ave, Florence Ave, North Florence Ave and West Florence Ave. Even if I pick the right one, "Florence Ave", then I still have to wade through a long city list.

    By the way, another tip I forgot to mention is that if the thing doesn't seem to recognize the street number -- "That number was not found on that street" -- then just leave the street number off. Sometimes it knows the street but doesn't know the street numbers that are available on it. That will at least get you to the street.

    As far as why Toyota/Lexus doesn't do as well as Acura... you'll see the same complaints about Acura systems so I'm really not sure that one is any better or worse than the other. I've never seen a comprehensive study about it. I've also played with Garmin, etc and have heard people claim portables are better than factory systems. In my experience, they both are missing data and sometimes take boneheaded routes. Neither are perfect.
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103

    From now on, I wll try to remember to put the city in first. By the way, when you tried my Hempstead example, were you able to get the street number (11), too?

    It's a little unclear from what you say above but even if not, you still did much better than me. Thanks again!

    Thanks also for telling me how to change the default speeds in my NAV. I'll do that this evening.

    And I agree that no NAV system is perfect. Far from it. But my experience has been that the Acura system is better than what we get from Toyota/Lexus. Both have errors and omissions, although I think the Acura has fewer, but the Acura seems to have mreo and better points of interests. YMMV, of course.

    As for me, I think I will get a Garmin nuvi 760 ( for my wife; who drives a 2005 Honda CRV.

    Hey, it's cheaper than buyer her a new car.
  • mdchachimdchachi Posts: 275
    Yes, it did get the street number. It pointed me to a street off of "Jerusalem Ave".

    The map disc version I have is 5.1. (To check your version, press Menu, then the Version button at the top right corner).

    The nuvi series is good. I've borrowed a nuvi 680 before and I thought it was quite nice.
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    The bad news is that I have Version 6.1 and, unfortunately, I still cannot get the correct address even when I put in the city first. It may just be me but I don't know what I could be doing wrong. Again, most address do work but

    The good news (hopefully!) is that Version 7.1 was just released. I am hoping it will be better. Give me a few days and I will write up a review here.

    On a related note, I ended up getting my wife a Freedom Keychain GPS and it is absolutely fantastic. It gets her everywhere, is so small and unobtrusive that she can take it everywhere, like when jogging or biking (it actually fits on her keychain), and is incredibly accurate. The only "downsides" are that you must use it with a third-party smartphone with third-party GPS software (she uses a Sprint Treo 700p with TeleNav). Absolutely fantastic; it saved me the expense of getting her a new 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited.
  • I'm going to post my gripes here and hope I'm doing something wrong and someone will happily, snidely tell me what to do to get things to work:

    1). No turn-by-turn voice. This is the biggest issue since it's safety related. It requires you to watch the screen constantly which is an obvious danger. I do have the two voice options turned on and from the time it tells me to get to the highlighted route until I actually get to my destination, the system is silent.

    2). No auto recalculation. I have other nav systems in other cars and if I deviate from the listed route, it will automatically recalculate my new route. This system just ignores any changes. If a road is closed or there is a detour it won't take that into account once I'm off the road.

    3). Voice recognition is poor. When driving I can only use the voice activation to get an address listed, but the voice recognition is poor to terrible. As a test it took me 30 mins to get an address in. I actually was at the address by time it took it and even then told me that address didn't exist, and I was sitting in the parking lot.

    4). Address database is substandard. Of the dozen or so times I've tried to use the system, it's found the address only once.

    5). The menu system and path to follow to do anything is anything but intuitive. This has to be the most confusing set of menus and options I have ever seen.

    I have a 2003 Acura MDX and I have yet to open the book on it's nav system and both my wife and I have never had any real trouble figuring out how to make it work. We also had a 2001 Lexus and it's nav system was on the same par as the Acura's, easy to use and accurate. I also have a Garmen and while much smaller, is still easy to use.

    Can anyone address or suggest what to do about any of the above items?

    Thanks in advance and sorry for such a long post.
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    First of all, I must reply to your questions by asking another question. What version of the NAV do you have, 6.1 or 7.1?

    The reason I ask is because I am about to upgrade from 6.1 to 7.1. Moreover, it seems like performance was compromised a bit for those who "upgraded" from 5.1 to 6.1. I initially had 6.1 and cannot comment first hand but I do remember a few posts from TCH owners who did upgrade complaining about a few things; plus I cannot get at least one address from a 5.1 owner can get [see above].

    My fear is that 7.1 will prove to be even worse than 6.1.

    Not exactly answers to your questions/gripes -- I'll try to provide more details next time I am in my car and can investigate further -- but:

    1) Turn-by-turn voice works fine in my 2007 TCH with 6.1. In fact, one of my gripes is that I wish the thing would shut-up a bit. If you have the system turned on, which you seem to have, it should work. I will investigate further when I get back in my car.

    2) Auto-recalculation works fine in my car. This may be the only NAV feature that I have not complained about. If it is not working, I would have the dealer take a look at it.

    3) Voice recognition is poor, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. However, from personal experience, I have not find any that I really like. Of course, YMMV.

    4) Yes! See my rants above. Indeed, it is in the hopes of a better address database taht I am upgrading to version 7.1.

    5) I thought the same thing when I first got my TCH but after a bit of time (using only my TCH NAV) it began to make sense to me. It's different but it really isn't that bad.

    All in all, like you, I think Acura has a better navigation system. But some of the problems and frustrations you are experiencing seem more particular to your system; or at least I hope it is not endemic to version 7.1. As I wrote above, I will investigate later and get back with you with more details.
  • When I get home tonight I'll check into the version. I would expect that since I only purchased the car two months ago, it should be 7.1, but maybe not. And I also forgot another major gripe.

    6). The system does not seem to have a clue on what road you are currently on. I was cruising north on a major expressway in Atlanta, and using the voice system told it to take me home. It told me to jump onto a side road that had access to a cross interstate. The only problem was that side road had no access to the expressway that I was on. The fact that I was already on an expressway that took me to my destination was lost to the system. it wanted me to cross the swale and drive down an enbankment to get to that other road.
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    Welcome to Toyota GPS systems... and then you compare it to Honda's which is top rated. If you can't get from here to there with the TCH's nav system... don't be surprised.

    It is not intuitive or have sufficient mapping. I drive with my Garmin, which I had in my other car. I would be interested to know if 7.1 works and if it does, how to get it.

    Otherwise.. love my car.
  • My system is version 6.1. When did 7.1 come out? If longer than a month ago I'm going to bust my dealers chops since it should have been included.

    But nevertheless, I've been working on it all night and no recalculation nor voice directions. I think it's time to harass the dealership.
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