• 01-15-2008
    VaughnA
    GPS Navigation and Stupidity
    My wife got me a Garmin for Christmas, I love it. It isn't perfect but it gets me there eventually and I think it will be a helpful tool in the long run.

    Good Moreoning America had a feature this morning about how people are blindly following GPS directions wherever they may take them. They had an idiot who turned when it said turn without looking where he was going. He ended up on train tracks and his rental car was destroyed. And numerous trucks going under bridges that are too low because they are following routes not normally used by trucks.

    I'm no rocket scientist but I know enough to keep looking out the windshield to make sure I'm not driving into a lake. If I was a truck driver I'd be smart enough to know how tall my trailer was and how to read the big yellow sign stating the clearance.

    GMA basically blasted the GPS as imperfect which it is. But apparently it is more reliable than the human brain IMHO.
  • 01-15-2008
    anthrax
    I gave my dad a Garmin GPS, and bought myself the same one. I love it. I travel all over the place for work (no more then about 3h from home), so I drive. The GPS is great compared to trying to use maps and stuff the GPS is great!.

    I have been using it on routs I know well just to get used to it. It does take so different routs, but as Vaughn has said it does get you there.

    But this business of completely shutting off your brain and blindly turning because it said turn is absolutely stupid.

    You gotta watch where you are going for sure...
  • 01-15-2008
    Fredke
    Here's a story in the New York Times about truck drivers in England blindly following GPS through towns with tiny narrow streets they can't possibly navigate: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/04/wo...ope/04gps.html
    “They have no idea where they are,” said Wayne Hahn, a local store owner who watches a daily parade of vehicles come to grief — hitting fences, shearing mirrors from cars and becoming stuck at the bottom of Wedmore’s lone hill. Once, he saw an enormous tractor-trailer speeding by, unaware that in its wake it was dragging a passenger car, complete with distraught passenger.
    ...


    Last month, a Slovakian truck driver arrived in Dover, bound for Wales with 22 tons of paper. But, directed off the highway and onto increasingly narrow roads by his navigation system, he ended up wedged on a tiny lane between two houses in Mereworth, a village in Kent, whereupon he had a panic attack, jumped out of his truck, and burst into tears.

    “He got back in his lorry and tried to maneuver his way out, but he was starting to scrape against the front walls,” Mark Siggers, a resident, told a local newspaper. He also knocked down the village’s power cables, cutting off the electricity. It took the authorities several days to remove his mangled truck.
  • 01-15-2008
    Chain
    My brother-in-law has a Tom-tom. He insisted on using the thing while driving around roads that he's known for years. Drove all of his passengers crazy. A few times it would tell us to turn after we had passed the intersection. After that he would slow down to make sure it was keeping up. DOH!

    He was more interested in the toy aspect than actually getting somewhere. I was ready to throw the thing out the window. After a little private family discussion the thing was put away for the rest of the trip. His was an older Tom-tom and they might have improved since then, but this was a piece of carp!
  • 01-15-2008
    weltyed
    i think i saw this...
    on "intervention" last week.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Chain
    After a little private family discussion the thing was put away for the rest of the trip. His was an older Tom-tom and they might have improved since then, but this was a piece of carp![/FONT]

  • 01-15-2008
    Bulldozer
    Some friends and I were unloading for a 3-day winter hut trip. Were were about 15 miles down a dead end dirt road east of Basalt, CO. We haven't seen any cars all morning and all of a sudden up pulls a shiny Ford Expedition. The guy rolls down his window and says "Is this the way back to Denver?" At first, we thought he was kidding. Nope. His GPS had told him that the road he was on would get him to Denver. Idjut.
  • 01-15-2008
    MikeBiker
    GPS in cars reminds me a lot of the CB radio craze. People get them and play around with them, but the electronics does not serve any useful purpose for 99% of the users.
  • 01-15-2008
    VaughnA
    I'm still going to carry a map. And I usually take a look at Google before I go on a trip to somewhere unfamiliar. I've already found it useful but blindly following it without any common sense is idiotic. I've only used it to find an address once since Christmas, I know my local area and it takes time to boot and hookup since I keep it hidden when not using it so I just leave it alone. I really want it to help find out what food/gas/hotels/stripclubs are nearby when I'm travelling. But I've found that the attractions database isn't up to date either. I still think it is useful, but not to replace the brain and a little common sense.
  • 01-15-2008
    Cyclo-phile
    I use MS streets and trips on my laptop with a USB GPS antenna. It occasionally has some goofy turns, like if the highway were to take a wide sweeping turn and a local road was more direct. With the laptop, though, it is very easy to zoom out and see the big picture, or look at your route beforehand.

    The first time we used this was when we were house hunting in a new area. We could look up an address from the MLS page and sort out a route to connect several houses. It was invaluable, as even the realtor we were working with wasn't familiar with some of the roads.
  • 01-15-2008
    JoeDaddio
    There was an Office episode where Michael drove into a lake because he turned when it told him to rather than at the next intersection. It was hi-larious.




    joe
  • 01-15-2008
    shawndoggy
    Around town, pretty unnecessary, but on long trips, especially to somewhere you don't know, awesome. Using mine to get to bike races has been the biggest help. I'm in northern Nevada, and most of our races are somewhere in the Central Valley of CA. Getting directions to some crazy BFE race start is just one less thing I have to stress out about. Also used it on the family vacation to the DC area last summer and it was invaluable.

    The guy who got smashed on the train tracks.... boy, I've done some stupid stuff myself in my lifetime, but as a general matter it seems like that guy would've gotten his some other way sooner or later.
  • 01-15-2008
    Cyclo-phile
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JoeDaddio
    There was an Office episode where Michael drove into a lake because he turned when it told him to rather than at the next intersection. It was hi-larious.
    joe

    I was thinking about that while I posted, but can't get a youtube clip cuz I'm at work.

    "The computer knows!"
  • 01-15-2008
    JoeDaddio
    I checked youtube, but couldn't find it.




    joe
  • 01-15-2008
    Cruzer2424
    I bloody hate those. I borrowed my mom's car once and it had one. I tried using it and it took me some stupid way that took an hour longer. I would rather use a map.
  • 01-15-2008
    bikeboy389
    I got a car with one of those in if from Hertz last time I was in Minnesota. I needed to get to a few different places both out in the state and immediately around Minneapolis.

    I disagreed with the route it chose sometimes out in Stillwater, but for the most part it was OK.

    However, when I tried to get from one side of Minneapolis to the other there was a major problem. The database hadn't been updated since the bridge collapse, so it kept trying to take me on roads that took me over it. By the time I realized it was taking me to the closed bridge, I had no independent idea where I was, and had to just get on a road that would take me far enough south to convince the stupid GPS that I was NOT going to cross the bridge it wanted me to cross. Once I got far enough off its chosen route that it stopped trying to steer me back to the closed bridge, it chose a new route and got me where I wanted to go.

    I think they're a lot better for highways than surface streets, especially if there's construction.
  • 01-15-2008
    AIE
    I drove a car w/GPS for the first time just this weekend. I couldn't stop staring at the screen. It's a miracle I'm still alive.