Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin nuvi 3700 series learns your preferred routes

3790t-3d-buildings I started seeing reports recently that the Garmin nuvi 3700 series will learn your preferred route, once you have deviated from a suggested route several times. I’m a bit surprised that Garmin didn’t hype this aspect of their myTrends feature, but they seem to take a low key approach and not highlight some features (like the fact that your nuvi takes into account your driving habits when calculating your ETA).

As far as I know, the 3700 series models are now the only PND’s in the US with this feature. Dash introduced something similar, and then went belly up. And Navigon announced MyRoutes, but promptly deserted the US PND market before delivering.

I wish I would have known about this when I was testing the 3700 series. I guess I have a good excuse to buy one now. Honey…

More info:

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Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

Comments

  1. Returned the 3790t I recently purchased. Especially after Garmin techs told me it was not a true route supporter despite trip planner. If you detour or miss a waypoint your route basically goes in the garbage or u-turns you back to your original start point. Are any of the Garmin auto GPS series true route supporters. Great Screen but all down hill from there.

    • The multi-destination routing function on the 37xx series is a new implementation. They are supposed to support imported routes from MapSource, with an update in Q1 2011. For now there are two ways to route with it — trip planner or just adding via points. I don’t have a 37xx unit, but if I recall correctly from my testing, you could go back into trip planner and pickup partway through a route. Is this not true?

      All other nuvis that support multi-destination routing, other than the 37xx series, utilize the older way of doing it and support route import from MapSource.

  2. the 37xx series not only have routes but have the BEST routing of any garmins. they just renamed it to ‘trip planner’.

  3. follow-up: if you miss a waypoint (or more commonly gps doesn’t figure out you got there and left) you simply re-route using the saved trip and pick your ‘next’ waypoint. it works fine i’ve done it plenty of times. too much pre-planning will defeat some of the important advances in the traffic trends and my-routes functionality.

    • Thanks Andrew. People seem to love or hate the new Trip Planner functionality. Glad it’s working for you!

      • i will mention: to be fair it’s the on-gps routing that works well. I manage waypoints, and POI on the MAC but haven’t pre-made routes for years on the computer. my 3760T is about my 12th garmin. i lost count years ago. my last one (RIP: stolen) 755t which was light-years behind in screen quality and had a major BUG which many garmins have: displays the road you are ON not the cross-road when not using a route. very stoopid. the 3700 fixes that problem.

        back ‘on topic’: the “learns routes” WORKS. i’ve listened to ‘off route recalculating’ literally many 100s of times taking the same route from my house with EVERY garmin i’ve ever owned until NOW. the 3760 learned that i will never go that wrong way and stopped trying to route me that way. (there is a curved road that is the main road, a straight road almost parallel is technically shorter (by literally 50 feet) but adds two stop signs so it will never be faster; the old models route the shorter slower route in ‘faster’ model 100% of the time. In addition, there is a route calculation bug in all garmins that will route you a less efficient route when there is an ‘arterial’ road near your destination having you turn sooner than you should. the ‘learns route’ fixes that problem as well.

        this functionality would almost certainly out-weigh ANY benefit suggested by the O.P. that ‘true routing’ would gain. it basically means you would have to pre-program routes on the gps itself. but if it’s only 3 units, a quick indoc to the individual users or a sit-down multiple programming session would solve that problem and the net gain would be a far better end-game. add on traffic-trends that routes based on historical traffic (also works; been there done that). and it’s almost impossible to believe there is a net-gain going to old routing.

        I will add, that adding a destination works infinitely better than previous units, quite likely making the whole ‘true routing’ concept a moot point. with all previous gps models you can only add a single add’l stopover, but the new models allow more and more waypoints, and in my experience they ‘just figure it out’ as far as what order they should be. (you can edit if shortest doesn’t make sense .. i.e. have to pick up the pizza before going home even if that’s out of the way).

        in addition; the trip planner allows passage of TIME at a layover; this is VERY powerful. you can program in an END TIME you want to get to florida, include a handful of 1 hr pit stops for food/fuel and an overnight layover at a motel and the GPS tells you what time you have to leave your house to get there. nothing comes close in the previous programming models.

        -awr

  4. Nick G. says:

    I just bought the 3790LMT and it is a good unit. However, what would make it a GREAT unit is this…

    Cons (and things that are pretty obvious to me):

    1.) I should NOT have to enter the city when I want to enter a new address. It should already know what city I’m in based on my current GPS location.

    2.) Let’s start with the really obvious stuff like using your device when it is C H A R G I N G!!!! The battery is dead and I hook it up to my PC via the USB cable and it starts to charge. Why can’t I use the Garmin while it is charging? Just ridiculous. Especially because I wanted to start planning an upcoming trip but I couldn’t because I had to wait until it was charged, then disconnect it from the PC and then use it.

    3.) Bluetooth Feature:
    a.) Add capability for Bluetooth to download all contact addresses in addition to the phone numbers. This just makes sense because it is a GPS device that works off of ADDRESSES, right!? – so it should have addresses that are listed in your contacts that you can navigate to with a press of a button!
    b.) It would also make sense to have a “Favorites” list for the people you call the most? You know, the same way Favorites works for destinations, the destinations you use the most. Just makes sense to me.

    4.) “Cities” Feature:
    All cities closest to your current location appear by default. Makes sense. However, if I search for another city (i.e., San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc.) it lists ALL cities worldwide!? I don’t mind this but at least list my local cities in U.S.A (San Francisco, CA) first. I have to scroll through almost 70 locations to find the one in California. Instead, I have listings of San Francisco 2,000 – 7,000 miles away. Why? Also, if I type “San Francisco, CA or California” it says Nothing Found. Obvious oversight.

    5.) “Favorites” Feature:
    Favorites should be listed alphabetically, not in the order you add them or by address location. Or am I not seeing this correctly? Obvious oversight.

    6.) “Where Am I?” Feature:
    This button lists several useful points of info (coordinates, elevation, nearest address, nearest intersection) but it fails to list the nearest town(s). I guess I can get this by going back to the main screen, then scrolling to “Cities” but it would be easier if this info was listed under this feature. How many times do you ask yourself “where am I?” and you’re not referring to the exact physical address or even elevation, but what town am I in or near!????

    7.) Very minor thing but the Power button on the top of the unit doesn’t have a very good “tactile” feel to it either. Maybe it’s just mine but I find pressing it very difficult.

    • Thanks for sharing. A few comments:

      1. You probably know this, but if you’ve searched that city before, you usually have to enter only the first letter of the name.
      2. I believe you can “safely eject hardware” and it will continue to charge via USB and allow you to use the device simultaneously.
      3a. This depends on the phone. It does import the address book on many. Be sure you have the latest Bluetooth firmware on the device.
      4. Yep. Drives me crazy.
      5. You’re right. You can however, tap Spell, and enter the first letter or two of the favorite to get to them quicker.
      7. I found that the right side of the power button is more responsive.

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