Sat Navs

Status
Not open for further replies.

deltic1989

Established Member
Joined
21 Sep 2010
Messages
1,483
Location
Nottingham
The subject of Sat Navs came up on another forum I'm on, relating to a popular Munich based car manufacturer.
Was woundering what you guys make of them? Anyone got any funny stories to relate about them.
I have just treat my new car to a Binotone device which seems determined to take me onto the M1 even when only attempting to get from one side of Nottingham to the other.

Discuss.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

starrymarkb

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2009
Messages
5,986
Location
Exeter
The subject of Sat Navs came up on another forum I'm on, relating to a popular Munich based car manufacturer.
Was woundering what you guys make of them? Anyone got any funny stories to relate about them.
I have just treat my new car to a Binotone device which seems determined to take me onto the M1 even when only attempting to get from one side of Nottingham to the other.

Discuss.
I've driven across Europe with one without much incident. But a big issue is keeping the data up to date. Mine kept trying to send me up a bus lane to get home*, though to be fair the council did make the road bus only after I bought the navigation unit!

*I knew the way, but I wasn't going to fiddle with the unit while driving back from somewhere I didn't know. As with any aid, it is an aid, you do have to pay attention to signs and I prefer to plan a rough route before I start.
 

Class172

Established Member
Associate Staff
Quizmaster
Joined
20 Mar 2011
Messages
3,267
Location
West Country
I don't need a sat-nav, I have one in my head! :)

My dad owns one and I always insist on beating it. On one occasion we were going to Blackpool but the M6 was closed between J17-18: the alternative route it gave from Droitwich was to go west to Ludlow before taking the A49 to Warrington (3h 40mins). I however told us to go via Shrewsbury (M54/A5) and Wrexham; when I checked it it was 2h 55mins. (WIN!) :P
 

richw

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2010
Messages
9,658
Location
Liskeard
O.p your gonna regret buying a binatone, very poor levels of software. Only brands I'd consider even touching are tomtom and garmin.
I quite like my tom tom, have uploaded and set a picture of my own car as the guide on the map, and have homer simpson as my voice, can have normal voices also though

Sent from my BlackBerry 9300 using Tapatalk
 

90019

Established Member
Joined
29 May 2008
Messages
6,665
Location
Edinburgh/Leeds
I have a Garmin one that I initially bought for a trip down south, which I got second hand for £45. it's proved itself very useful, and it was definitely worth buying.

I don't really use it that much, but when I do it tends to be more for reference and I don't usually bother setting a route.
 

michael769

Established Member
Joined
9 Oct 2005
Messages
2,006
I used to travel about enough to need one.

I have had both a Garmin and a TomTom model. I personally found the Garmin had a nicer display and UI, and it's routing was good at avoiding unwanted U-Turns, if you stray off route, in a way that TomTom does not.

The TomTom had the live traffic which I found to be very good indeed - compared to the Garmin offering (which IIRC is Trafficmaster based) - and that was enough to make me use it in preference.

On one occasion the latter did try to direct me down a dirt track in New Lanark. But I engaged my Brain and resisted its attempts ;).
 

Ivo

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2010
Messages
7,307
Location
Bath (or Southend)
I don't need a sat-nav, I have one in my head! :)

My dad owns one and I always insist on beating it.
Very similar to me. I went touring around the country by car in 2010 with three others, and the driver always insisted on using the Sat-Nav instead of listening to me, which annoyed me to no end. On two different occasions it said something completely different to what I said - and on both occasions, he ignored me. And on both occasions, two minutes later, we were lost. The same happened last summer as well! <(

Sat Nav devices only work if they are tuned to the vehicle using them and update automatically. Otherwise, what is the point?
 
Last edited:

Peter Mugridge

Veteran Member
Joined
8 Apr 2010
Messages
11,233
Location
Epsom
I use mapnav :)

Manually plotting your route before you set out means you are better prepared than if you blindly follow a computerised navigator - you can also prepare diversionary routes in case of problems.
 

Prometheus

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2009
Messages
55
Location
Middlesex
I've driven across Europe with one without much incident. But a big issue is keeping the data up to date. Mine kept trying to send me up a bus lane to get home*, though to be fair the council did make the road bus only after I bought the navigation unit!

The chore and cost of updating maps are the biggest downfall. It's probably easier and cheaper to buy a new satnav every couple of years, such is the cost of updating the maps. I bought a cheap but adequate Mio in Morrisons a couple of years ago for £39.99 (down from £79.99) and loaded new maps straightaway for free. But updating those maps would now cost me £49.99 - £10 more than the original cost of the satnav including new maps!

I recently upgraded my phone to an HTC smartphone which runs the Android operating system. The phone has built-in GPS and Google Navigation satnav software is available free of charge from the Android Market (recently bizarrely renamed "Play Shop"). It works well and the maps, which are based on Google Maps, are updated monthly.

It isn't flawless but it is no worse than my Mio or my friends' TomTom and Garmin satnavs. All this for free with free monthly map updates. :D
 

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
24,493
Location
UK
In-car Sat Nav systems usually have huge costs to update maps, and are often very slow in comparison. Of course, they have one advantage - integration and usually a nice big screen.

I used to review SatNavs when they were expensive enough to require a lot of thought. Now people seem to go on price.

I personally think both TomTom and Garmin make good software. Both have good mapping data (Navteq, owned by Nokia, providing Garmin is better set up to do quick map updates and map new areas, but TeleAtlas (owned by TomTom) has improved a lot in recent years).

TomTom, however, has Live HD Traffic which is amazing. If you get a model with integrated SIM card, you also get loads of other benefits like Google Search, which is a gazillion times better than fixed POIs that go out of date before you take the unit out of the box and doesn't need hooking up to your PC to do updates.

But the traffic service is awesome and better than anything else. Why? Because it is getting its information from literally millions of people in real time - including you providing information to other TomTom users. How? By tracking (anonymously) the position of everyone with a Vodafone SIM - including your TomTom LIVE. If a lot of people are detected as moving in a certain area, it can work out that they're clearly driving and on a certain road. There's a great deal of intelligence. This is then used to detect when they slow down/stop. Again, with so many users it can easily filter out the one or two that stopped to park, fill up etc.

The end result is that all roads are covered, although clearly the busier ones will give more accurate data quicker. Nevertheless, I've found it has picked up on even the smallest of jams that other systems wouldn't pick up. The Highways Agency has sensors and there are other older systems, which is how most other devices get traffic data - possibly updated with known road works. Some simply make guesses of traffic, or based on history. TomTom is live!

Mind you, they do have this other thing called IQ Routes, which knows the average speed on a road on certain days/times, which gives more accurate estimated times of arrival.

What a shame TomTom is now finding that most people are using navigation software on their smartphones. They have an app for iPhone, but there are also loads of cheaper (or free) ones that may not be as good, but most people just don't realise that a good navigation package might be worth paying a little more for.

Google Navigation is quite good for Android users (and free) - but download an alternative text-to-speech application, as the system voice is very bad. SVOX does one and it's incredibly clear.

Nokia Drive for Windows Phone is very basic, but good and also free (and will soon be updated to add a lot more functionality). CoPilot LIVE is my personal fave for Android, which is what I now use as it's more convenient than my old TomTom (but I have lost the HD Traffic service, which really annoys me).
 

YorkshireBear

Established Member
Joined
23 Jul 2010
Messages
7,765
I dont drive but i often navigate for people who do drive. I never use them for complete journeys and prefer to use a map book or most often my brain.

I use them for one of a few reasons.

1) Complicated city centres i have never been to.
2) to give me an ETA (useful for visiting people when they want to know when to expect you)
3) If i do get completely lost and need something more detailed than the map book i have (very very rare i do actually have a very good sense of direction)
 

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
24,493
Location
UK
I use them a lot but can still read a map and road signs. They can let you concentrate on other things and if one can fade out the radio to give instructions, you can combine them well with listening to music.

I'd say that if you are going to use one, get a decent one. Don't get a cheap, slow one with a slow processor, low-res screen and old map data that was cheaper (for the manufacturer) to buy. Check how much map updates will be (this usually makes built in ones even more expensive).
 

Kernowfem

Member
Joined
24 Oct 2009
Messages
726
Location
The Midlands
I'm blessed with a good sense of direction for a woman. And i know how to read a map, my car has built in sat-nav, but to be honest the bloody woman drives me batty, so leave it switched off now.

I live in a village with a very narrow canal bridge, and the amount of artics that have found themselves directed that way have been quite high. Most of the drivers had the ability to see that their vehicle wouldn't get through, while a few have completely wedged themselves in....quite a spectacle to see!!
 

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
24,493
Location
UK
Lorry drivers should be using commercial navigation devices which contains additional map data not included in the consumer models.

I've been out and about with Navteq to see how they survey roads, and they capture just about everything (road widths, humps, restrictions, road signs etc). It's all captured on video too.

To put all that data into a map file would make the files huge - and that means devices needing more internal storage, memory cards etc. As such, each manufacturer can pick and choose the level of data (including the detail of the roads, so some may show every curve - others are straightened out). Naturally, the cheaper ones usually have less detailed maps.

I can only assume lorry drivers are buying their own navigation devices, as no company should be issuing inappropriate ones.
 

richw

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2010
Messages
9,658
Location
Liskeard
I can only assume lorry drivers are buying their own navigation devices, as no company should be issuing inappropriate ones.
even my £100 tom tom has an option to input the size of your vehicle for smart mapping. My favourite bit of TomTom is that i have managed to upload a picture of my own car to the device to use as the pointer. Oh and downloaded bugs bunny voice!
 

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
24,493
Location
UK
The TomTom HOME software does make it quite easy to customise your device like that.

Competition has seen even the mid-high end TomTom models drop in price quite a lot, but they do then charge a fair bit for the Live services, and map updates.

The map guarantee is good though, especially if you can bag a slightly older model for a bargain price and get the latest map available at that time.
 

LE Greys

Established Member
Joined
6 Mar 2010
Messages
5,389
Location
Hitchin
I try never to use one. I use a map.
Very sensible if you have someone else in the car to read it for you. If not, it can be a bit awkward. I'd like to get a car with a HUD one day, if they ever make one that's sophisticated enough, so I don't have to take my eyes off the road to check the display.
 

LE Greys

Established Member
Joined
6 Mar 2010
Messages
5,389
Location
Hitchin
You plan the route before you leave, something that people did for many years before sat-nav existed.
I know, that's exactly what I do as well. Problem is, if you have to change your plans in a hurry whilst on the move, or if you get lost. I remember one occasion where I was using an old map which did not tell me that you could no longer get through a certain road because of a priority change at a junction. My dad was driving, getting more and more annoyed with every turn, while we did several circuits of Leeds and Bradford trying to find the road for Keighley. Luckily, I was able to work things out from the passenger seat. How I would have coped alone and unable to stop to look at the map remains to be seen.
 

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
24,493
Location
UK
The system I use now has a very high-definition screen and a fast processor that means the map scrolls smoothly, but I mostly rely on the audio instructions. I can configure it to give 'next turn' instructions earlier, or later, and loads of other things (This is CoPilot Live for Android BTW). I rarely need to look at the screen, especially as the instructions are very clear thanks to text-to-speech that can read road signs and say specific lanes to stay in etc.

Planning ahead is fine until you hit a jam, or an accident that closes a road. In Germany, we had a very straight run on an autobahn - but road works closed three junctions of road. We didn't know this (the SatNav didn't tell us either). Now, they have a system of diversions built in to every exit (so you can go off and follow to the next junction) but with the SatNav programmed to find a new route, by clicking on 'roadblock' and selecting the distance - approximately - it worked out the diversion so I didn't need to look out for the little symbols on signs while going down some very small roads.

I don't want future generations not knowing how to read maps, and will teach my son to read a map and do lots of things that technology has almost rendered obsolete, but using technology is not something I'm going to refuse to use for no good reason.
 

DarloRich

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
24,344
Location
Work - Fenny Stratford(MK) Home - Darlington
Very sensible if you have someone else in the car to read it for you. If not, it can be a bit awkward. I'd like to get a car with a HUD one day, if they ever make one that's sophisticated enough, so I don't have to take my eyes off the road to check the display.
I have an ability to memorise a map and route. It is very helpful!

I also never forget how to get anywhere i have ever been. It is mental and Rainmanalike!
 

Zoe

Established Member
Joined
22 Aug 2008
Messages
5,905
but using technology is not something I'm going to refuse to use for no good reason.
There does seem to be an obsession in some cases that just as the techology for something exists, it has to be used. I know of people that refuse to go on any long distance journey without a sat-nav.
 

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
24,493
Location
UK
Likewise people who won't use technology in order to make a statement. Most people probably fit in between somewhere.
 

Minilad

Established Member
Joined
26 Feb 2011
Messages
4,335
Location
Anywhere B link goes
The day a map will tell me the estimated arrival time, any hold ups en-route, where the nearest / cheapest petrol station is, shout out directions, have a link to the internet and a google search. pair up with my phone via bluetooth for handsfree operation I will go back to using a map.
Until that day I will continue to use my sat nav. Which by the way has never sent me down train tracks or over the edge of a cliff. It has never got me lost. It has saved my time on many occasions.
You Luddites stick with your maps if you like.
Oh and LE Greys I believe the new Citroen DS5 has a HUD
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top