Sunday, March 18, 2012

Built in GPS Disappoints Customers

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Technology in the world today is advancing so fast that it is sometimes hard to keep up. With that being said, more and more cars are coming equipped with a built-in navigation systems so that consumers won’t need to use a stand alone model or their smartphone.

Unfortunately, while the technology is becoming available for the public, not many people are utilizing it. In a survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, it was revealed that about 1/3 of people who had built-in navigation gave up on it after less than 2 weeks, and more than half never used it at all. Additionally, almost 2/3 of people with the built-in navigation said that they continue to use their smartphone as a GPS at least some of the time.

The vice president of J.D. Power, Renee Stephens, commented that most customers were not pleased with their built-in GPS due to the strenuous process of entering a destination. It’s kind of an elaborate operation since your car doesn’t exactly have a keyboard, and there is no way to have EVERY destination in a points of interest menu. Most in-dash navigation systems also lock while moving, so even if you have a passenger, they won’t be able to help much help once you’ve hit the road.

One solution was voice control, which is becoming more common, but more often than not the automated voice has a hard time understanding you and then you just end up yelling at your car until it gets what you’re saying. With random street or city names, it can get pretty difficult.

Avoiding In-Dash GPS

As technology in cars continues to evolve, there are more options for navigation readily available—so you don’t have to use the built-in GPS system. Most cars now come with systems to hook your phone up via USB or Bluetooth, which would allow your navigation from your phone to display on the dash or come through the speakers. Even with this tactic, though, you want to be careful—especially if it’s a rental.

However, when you connect your phone via Bluetooth in a car, it can transfer a lot of your information. The car can store your call log, contact numbers, and text messages. If you’re using GPS, it can also store recent destinations—in some cases revealing where you live or stay. If it’s your car, you don’t really need to worry about this (unless you are selling it or sharing with someone you don’t trust), but if you ever rent a car, you’ll want to keep this in the back of your mind.

The apparent solution to this is just not to pair your phone with a rental car; Most will have an aux cord for music as well as a separate charging port. If you feel as though you do need to pair your device, just make sure to actually check the permissions (you can grant access to music, but not contacts) and take the proper steps afterward. Most vehicles have an easily accessible settings menu, which will contain a list of all the devices that have been paired with the car. Simply remove your device, and do the same if there is an addition settings menu for locations.

Do you use your phone for GPS, or an in-dash device? Or do you have an alternate device and avoid both? Tell me in the comments below!

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