I received a Garmin nuvi 5000 to test recently and the first thing I did was to check out the custom route avoidances on it. Some manufacturers have had this feature for a while, and though Garmin is often late to the party, you can usually count on them to implement features as well or better than anyone. (UPDATE: Several commentators have noted that this is not a new feature for Garmin, just a new feature for the nuvi series.)
As far as I can tell, these custom avoidances are not going to be included on the upcoming nuvi 800 series. I suspect that Garmin is simply testing it out on the nuvi 5000, a unit bound to see low sales volume, if for no other reason than its lack of an internal battery.
You can have the nuvi 5000 avoid a section of road or avoid an entire area. First let’s look at the menu choices, and then the avoid road procedure.
My GPS receivers invariably direct me from my house onto main roads, often through an area with multiple stop lights. The problem is, there’s a back way that is much faster with only one light before hitting an Interstate. I was easily able to block a short section of road, as shown below, and now the nuvi 5000 routes me the preferred way. Taps on the screen snap to a road and the nearest intersection, as you can see. This is a killer feature and I hope it will soon make its way into other nuvi models.
The avoid area feature, shown below, isn’t quite as useful. It allows you to define a simple rectangle to avoid. It would be nice to be able to choose this method or a complex polygon defined by roads.
Stay tuned; I’ll soon be updating my nuvi 5000 page with a full hands-on review.