Saturday, March 26, 2005

SatNav Rocks!

After reading how Garan was struggling to get the best out of his satnav system I thought it only fair that I add some positive comments to this technological marvel.

I've had my TomTom Navigator for about 2 years now and can honestly say I wouldn't be without it. Driving anywhere is more relaxing knowing that I don't have to struggle with maps or have arguments with Katie over directions.

I can highlight how powerful it is with a simple example. We went up to see my Dad on Thursday night and spent Good Friday with him and drove back late on Friday Night. The first part of the journey back is along some minor A-roads that are very dark, and quite unpopulated. About 10 minutes into the the journey we came across a very recent accident. The road was blocked and the ambulance and fire engine had only just turned up. There was a car on fire and the police hadn't turned up yet. We were faced with having to find a different route through. I turned down a small side road and hit the "alternative route" button on the satnav.

It thought about it for a few seconds then came up with another route. On looking at it, it was trying to take us around a small detour that bought us back onto the main road about 1/2 mile further on. Putting my explicit faith in the GPS I followed it. It took me down the very narrow single track road that looked like it was going nowhere but before we knew it we popped back out onto the original road and carried on our way.

Now without the GPS we would have had to stop, get out the map, work out where we were and then try to follow an alternative route. Not impossible but it would have taken time and raised the blood pressure. Something I'm happy to do without.

Now I'll be the first to admit that it has come up with some unusal routes in the past but this has been down to me not setting the speed limits for different types of roads correctly. Now that I have them set to my preferences it comes up with excellent routes. It also manages to take you into places and roads that you wouldn't ordinarily see if you just stick to main roads.

Ultimately it has NEVER let me down. Again on Friday we went to a country park near Lincoln. None of us had been there before but all I did was enter the postcode into the GPS and off we went. We got there without issue as usual.

A new version of TomTom Navigator is released in April and I'll be at the front of the line for my upgrade.

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