Friday, March 27, 2009

RE:view - SATS tests

I succumbed.

Motivated by a recent 1/2 hour drivearound seeking a venue, and promoted by a deal, I have bought a Sat Nav. So far, so blinking amazing.

I'd have to say the enviro aspects were not uppermost in my mind, but already I can safely say that it was the best £150 I have spent in a while, even if it is on a 'toy'.

I have already completed a few trips, and while the fuel cost savings may never cover the purchase investment, I am happy that enviROI is well and truly satisfied. There's also the intangibles (I hope) of safety, etc.

The Good

My model is a Tom Tom, and very easy to use and effective I have found it. Nice clear screen, simple, comprehensible audio warnings and instructions. Simple to program. WYSIWYG. Can't fault it yet. A few odd routes close to home when I know a quicker way, but it seemed to 'learn' when I ignored those.

The Better?

Of course, I now am more 'aware', and just clicked on a banner at for a competitor, and arrived at this. Too late for me! Though I am a little unclear as to what it does that others cannot. But maybe the eco. vs. fastest route is genuine. That said, 56mph on a motorway is probably the most fuel efficient way to go rather than 70mph, or stop start and winding the B-roads. Possibly a bit of a gimmick. Without buying one it's hard to say. But I may revisit this RE:view as I would a category as news is published from elsewhere.

The Ugly

And now the downside. This from last night's Ch 4 Snowmail sums it up: And seen any 40-tonne artics stuck up single-track country lanes recently? Well, the joys of Sat Nav Stupidity are becoming so well known now that there's a kind of unofficial hit parade emerging as the nation's tried and tested favorites grind to a frustrated halt in great clouds of diesel with ever increasing regularity. And the extraordinary thing is that the system never seems to learn and amend. The Lib Dems are demanding urgent government action. Don't hold your breath.
Enter 'Sat Nav HGV Hot Spots' here

Personally, I still keep a road map and the relevant pages of Google Maps to hand... just in case.

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