thoughts on a Garmin Nuvi GPS

| September 8, 2012

I wrote this while in France and the UK mainly as an outlet for frustration over this supposedly useful device. When we picked up our new Peugeot (from Peugeot Open Europe) at the airport, they told us the built in one doesn’t work so use this one until we can get to a dealer for replacement.

We could fit 5 pads in the back without that cover which was pretty nice when it rained. 

It seats 5 easily and even has a faux airplane personality! No inflight movies though, but it averaged over 45 mpg. 

It’s a headache, and on several levels… enjoy.

Here is a list of things it does:

1. it shuts off randomly while driving then reboots itself to the screen that asks me to agree not to make inputs while driving. hmmm, that’s a problem especially when it does it up to four times while driving from font to paris.

2. it doesn’t know any of the one ways or at least the ones we were told to take. (once in fontainebleau city, we used the Nuvi to leave the town and kept running into incoming one ways over and over. I finally turned it off, and thought for a bit until I could remember from ’99 when I was there last)

3. it easily confuses one narrow street for another (distances between city/town streets can be very small) then has to “recalculate” and by the time it figures where to go next (remember, in france you usually don’t stop but are always moving through yields with little chance to just pull over), it has to again “recalculate” again and again.

4. it takes forever, or so it seems–maybe 5 minutes  maybe longer (we usually reboot), to get connected with satellites. lame!

5. it gives false information about upcoming streets; it might show two different exits when only one exits so you just have to choose which  one then find out if it’s correct.

6. it will direct us to take an offramp then tell us to get back on the freeway. after once, we got a clue and ignored it as it planned it for several more exits. go figure.

7. it will just stop working .

8. it’s easy to trust it about speed limits and upcoming speed cameras, but it’s often wrong. the accuracy is based on how update it is. that’s a problem without an internet connection. luckily, speeds are usually posted well in both france and the uk.

9. i really wanted to chuck the device out the window, but Peugeot Open Europe owns it and we’d end up paying for it. dang…

How often does this happen? every time we drove the vehicle, and some thing happens maybe 2-5 times, but the worse thing that happens has nothing to do with the operational ability as much as with the consequences… I simply don’t learn the lay of the land or landmarks to know the route next time if I’m without the gps. once I start using it, it seems i have to keep using it. It’s easy to caught in this cyclical trap of necessity. The last time I was in Font, we used maps, and after the first time learning to get some where, I/we remembered it.

Maps and knowing north are so much better. A parting scene at a crag of a lizard eating a spider:

lizard eating spider

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Category: Fontainebleau, travel

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