Last Call- GP-Estimated Edition

GPS

Sometimes technology moves so fast it outpaces society’s ability to keep up. In some instances however, society has ways of telling technology, and those who count on it, that maybe they might want to slow down. Or, in this case, turn around an try another route.

Image: Imgur

28 Comments

    1. This is awesome. Something tells me a woman drives this car…. and she still has no idea where she wants to go.

          1. It's a Skoda. Maybe they need lots of alternative routes because they never know where they'll break down or where the nearest mechanic is.

  1. Make sure your GPS doesn't default to "Ford Raptor Mode"
    Actually, I had never had this experience until I went to Rochester, NY. Garmin thinks that Goodman St N connects across the train tracks at Circle Ave and Main St. So I wound up looking at Dead End signs instead of the Village Gate Square.

  2. My only experience with GPS was about 8 or 9 years ago with one of the early units on a Hertz rental Ford Escape. Headed east on the then freshly opened (just a few days after it opened) 210 freeway near Rancho Cucamonga, the unit began admonishing me NOT to drive on the golf course. I, of course, requested permission to play through. It ignored me.

  3. I trust GPS guidance about as far as I can throw it.
    Just yesterday I was trying to use the Google Maps app on my iPhone to guide me from my parents' house to my current home in the next state north & ~210 miles away. It told me to turn around 3x in the 1st 2 miles from my parents' house, so I could drive 6 miles out of my way… and I was taking the fastest/most direct route that I knew of after living there for 22 years.

  4. Somewhere I should still have a photo of my integrated navigator instructing me to drive 900 meters straight ahead. Looking forward one can see a boat ramp descending into a lake. Must try to find the photo and add it later. (Well, the owner's manual does not explicitly tell the car is NOT amphibious, and its brand can be interpreted to mean a boat. Should I have given it a try?)

  5. Cartography is a bitch. Do you think it's easy to keep up with the myriad changes that happen to public roads every year, or that maybe we just employ dozens of people in every major city to drive around and ensure the maps are 100%?
    Look, GPS accuracy is easy, but making the maps perfect is not. This is why I tell everyone to by an "LM" model so you get free map updates as long as you own the device.
    Anyway, road work information is dispersed around federal, state, and local DOT offices. Even once you know where to find it, getting access to records can take months.
    If you have the latest map on your device, and there's still an error, you can take 5 minutes to report it:
    https://my.garmin.com/mapErrors/report.faces
    And no, that form isn't a company being lazy by trying to crowd-source errors instead of finding them all themselves; it's a company trying to meet a price point that consumers are willing to pay in a declining PND market. Garmin cannot afford to have hundreds of cartographers on the road at all times AND sell you a nuvi 42 for $120.
    It's also being responsive to customer feedback (domestic, btw), which is what caused our product support guys to provide the form linked above in the first place.

    1. That was an interesting post, but it seems like you kind of missed the point of the picture. Which is that it's funny. And it is.

      1. I guess I am responding to the other comments dumping on GPS nav and taking them all too personally because the big G (no, not THAT one, the other one ::cough::) pays my bills.
        The original post was indeed funny, and I should have responded to that, even if it got my goat a little. It's hard when half the articles about your employer are doom-and-gloom about the PND business, completely ignoring the fact that G has a pretty diverse product line that includes outdoor, fitness, sports, marine, aviation, and OE supply.

        1. True enough, and I find it ridiculous that people don't trust GPS navigation due to, say, knowing a better route. Did they have the GPS set to "fastest" or "shortest" or do they have it set to stay on freeways? That makes a huge difference. And what they consider an easy drive, other people might consider horribly scary and deadly – so the default safe routing settings would route around that.
          Also Google's routing is terrible – Garmin saved me almost an hour on a 6-hour trip versus Google's routing, and other trips have been noticeably better using Garmin.

    2. You work for Garmin? Let me take a minute to tell you that I have owned and/or used a GPS from every major manufacturer. (I travel a lot and sometimes lose my GPSs.)
      Garmin's units are, for the most part, the most expensive. There is a reason for this. You get what you pay for. I have never once had a problem updating a Garmin GPS or actually getting it to work. On the other hand, I have had Magellans and Tom Toms corrupt while downloading maps, hard reset on their own every 5 minutes, or be simply unable to pick up satellites.
      So bravo on actually trying to make a good product.

      1. Garmin was founded by a couple of engineers over 20 years ago, Gary Burell and Min Kao (Gary+Min=Garmin). While they have mostly retired from day-to-day operations, the guys they groomed to follow them also rose from the ranks of engineering, and genuinely care about putting out a good product. Min and CEO Cliff still personally review and approve every product development plan, UI design, and final product.

  6. We've discussed 'trap' streets that mapmakers include to catch rip-off artists. I've wondered how often they get accidentally included in GPS.

    1. Aren't you located in or about the Middle of the Map City? Remember who is down on Olathe, and that there might be a few car guys down there willing to spot you one of their allotted discounted employee purchases for the year if you are so inclined.

      1. Yes, I've got some friends over there. However, I work for another large area employer who facilitates the same service via smartphones. I wish she would embrace that technology – she's already paying for the phone, and the navi on mine works beautifully.

    2. iPhone navigation is pretty good, but it's still not quite as nice as a Garmin. At least in my experience. It works, and about 80 – 85% as well as the stand-alone Garmin, but has some compromises that a dedicated device overcomes. I'm sure it will always be that way – a dedicated device is always going to excel at something versus a multi-purpose machine.

  7. Heh. I've seen almost this EXACT picture myself, with a Garmin telling me to stay on a rural highway which stops dead with a bridge out, in East Texas. Of course the good thing is that the Garmin will help you find your way around to a different route.
    My wife insisted she didn't want a GPS. Twice. I got her one anyway and now she can't live without it.

  8. Funnily enough I just got my mom a new Garmin today (with lifetime map updates, of course). I finally reported a map error in my own neighborhood that has been here for at least 15 years. The street I live on had its own exit at one time, but it's been blocked off for a long time now. I imagine it confuses those who don't know where they're going. Oh, well, at least Garmin users with lifetime updates (or anything that uses Navteq maps (which is owned by Nokia)) should have it fixed soon enough if it works out.

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