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Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by John King, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. John King

    John King Well-Known Member

    Has anyone here experience of why Satnav's decide to go a different and incomprehensible way than what was programmed into them at the start of the journey? The satnav in question was a Tom Tom 500 fitted on my motorcycle. Before anyone asks:-

    The software is up to date.
    The route was set as the quickest also to use motorways.

    When I set out the route last week, it was OK in fact I didn't really need the SN at this stage, but because I was going through 'Injun Country' I set it for the full route. It was OK and spot on as far as Towcester when it directed me by the 'voice' as I approached a roundabout for me to go right on the A5. At the next roundabout About 2 miles up the road the audible warning was 'At the next roundabout take the 3rd exit'! this brought me from the A5 going north to the A5 going south over the same stretch of road. Then as I approached the same roundabout before Towcester 'At the next roundabout take the 2nd exit' which was a continuation of the road I had originally been on - and the right road all the time.

    That is the latest of misdirection's it has made, Another one a few weeks ago directed me off a dual carriage way into a rather nice estate with large houses with more trees than people and all the dog muck in neat piles! This road was not indicated as such, but it finished up as a loop with me riding back down the same road I had ridden a couple of minutes earlier, the the voice then said 'At the T junction turn left'. Which was the same road, but now in the direction I needed all along.

    Not being familiar with either places, how was I to know? Sometimes I think they are programmed to give the makers a laugh at our expense.
  2. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    The only response I can reasonably give is that a Sat Nav is an AID to navigation, a driver really should have a very good idea of the intended route before even getting in/on the vehicle. I routinely ignore mine when it wants to use a route different from the one I want.
  3. John King

    John King Well-Known Member

    I totally agree but there are times when I or anyone else can be in an area they don't know and need extra guidance. The unexplained miss directions should not happen in the 1st place especially when they put you back on the right route eventually.
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Route planning is a bit of a black art. My car sat nav (OEM, 2012) has proved pretty good. Outside urban areas it sticks to main roads. It is very stubborn. From, say Colchester it would choose A12, M25, M1. If I go the other way A12, A14 it will complain bitterly until way beyond Bury St Edmunds before accepting that I am not going to turn around. It is quite good at avoiding roadworks though it does a look ahead so on a 300 mile journey taking in rush hour the route changes come at an insufferable rate. As it is 8 years out of date new roads and changed speed limits have to be watched for, no bad thing really.

    On my bicycle I have a Garmin 1030. It’s autoroute cuts in if I go off-course and it is insufferably stupid as it will try to get me back to where I went off course so, if I cut a corner, and pick the course up again it will moan “go back” for quite some time.

    I usually plot and download routes to the device using other software. I started with Garmin basecamp which absolutely refuses to cross a local A road. It adds an 8 mile diversion. Something hexed about the crossroads. I switched to plotaroute which is fine with that crossroad but refuses to plot a route that traverses a level-crossing instead preferring an unpaved no-through road complete with ford (it does have a footbridge) and yesterday refused to plot a route that goes across a cattle grid. Curiously the google streetmap car doesn’t drive the 300 m section either though it goes to each end of the missing segment. Ridewithgps happily plots a route through the same section. I guess I’ll have to go explore!
  5. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    They all seem to have a mind of their own. They are better than they used to be but far from perfect. As with Geoff I often ignore mine and will check the route it is sending me on. I find them better on major routes so I’m surprised with your mis-directions.
  6. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    If I set the shatnav at home, it's changed its mind by the time I get to the A36 using the one road in and out of the village.
  7. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    Is your software up to date on it?
  8. Dorset_Mike

    Dorset_Mike Grumpy Old Fart

    Never had a sat nag, don't want one either. I can read a map, I would do a check on Google maps before setting out, I would also check online for road works. I once travelled with son in law who had his gabbing away all the time, drove me nuts before we'd gone half way.
    I can see that people like couriers etc may need one, but I certainly don't.
    Learning likes this.
  9. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    I have a stand-alone Garmin which to be fair is not too bad. However my in-car Ford sat-nav often seems to plot its route with a pin....
    Quite glad you've said this. I thought my problems with Garmin Basecamp was me. I often plan a route on the bike GPS even though I know where I'm going. No matter what I set the options to, Basecamp's routing is often erratic. On the other hand I find Garmin Connect to be the best for me.
  10. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Could your SatNav have been guiding you away from major roadworks? I've lived near Towcester for around 40 years, and there's major housebuilding at the moment. (In Milton Keynes a major diversion on Watling Street has been ongoing for around a year - perhaps more. Google maps suggests Aug 31st as a completion date.)
    RogerMac likes this.
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I’ve been using plot-a-route to plan where I go and Garmin Connect to remember where I went. I just discovered that the default map in ridewithgps can be changed, I can’t read the default, so I might change to that. I never use route plotting for use on a bike to calculate an entire route, as I would with the car, I only use it to fill in segments.

    In a car the main advantage of having an auto-route is advanced notice of delays so that you can decide on diversions. Navigating urban areas is useful. Two of my sons live in London and until I learned the areas the Satnav is a godsend. Mine is an OEM system and very clear. I wouldn’t like to have a small portable unit like the Garmin in a car, fine on a bike.
  12. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Strange though it may seem it is possible to silence a Sat Nav, it is the first thing I do. I rarely use one for navigation but they can be useful for ETAs. I like to have a map in sight even if I don't let the device make any decisions. I will program a destination into which ever one I am using then I will activate it when I get close enough to need it, as a method it works for me. I have a collection of maps and I will buy new ones when ever I have an excuse, OS maps come with a free download so I have them on my iPad too. Electronic maps are great you can plan a long route quickly then zoom in for the final few miles. There is a phrase in aviation "children of the magenta line" it means those who slavishly follow the programmed route and cannot operate without it. It applies to pilots and engineers, who don't actually have a magenta line, but slavishly follow what the computer tells them to do without applying any understanding. They exist in franchised garages too, a very expensive luxury.

    I am obviously old school, I like to know what I am going to do and how to do it. Computers are fine as long as you temper what they tell you with experience. Good servants but very bad masters.
  13. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I have to echo Malcolm Stewart's post - mine (on a Nissan) is usually immaculate but does pick up current traffic hold up info which can be disconcerting
  14. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Is that some sort of trouser accident early warning system?
    MJB likes this.
  15. DaveM399

    DaveM399 Well-Known Member

    The Points of Interest are the public conveniences.
  16. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    With my wife's 40miles to the bladder you're not far off the mark. :D
    DaveM399 likes this.
  17. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Random thought - can you pick up approaching emergency services vehicles on satnags now? I'm thinking of occasions where I've been sat in a jam and vehicles ahead of me have started pulling out of the road before I can see or hear sirens and lights.
  18. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    They are probably just paying more attention. ;)
    MJB likes this.
  19. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    Perhaps you need a trip to Barnard Castle.
    John Farrell likes this.
  20. John King

    John King Well-Known Member

    Not that I was aware of on the route I was to take, infact for a Sunday morning it was very quiet. There was a diversion after that on the A43 with the junction onto the M40 closed off but that had no bearing on the route it decided to take me. The diversions were totally and utterly pointless, because they brought me back to the original intended route and after that it behaved itself.

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