Trusting my GPS

Do you use a GPS device in your car ? I have been using one sporadically over the past six months with somewhat mixed results.

On more than one occasion I have looked at the screen to suddenly discover that my car has entered a kind of cartographic Twilight Zone. I’m clearly driving on a road. I can feel the pavement and I can see the addresses going by but the GPS shows the little car symbol striking out into a field of unbridled green. I have hit a new frontier. I’m like Lewis and Clark in a Honda. Often, this is a well-established route, so I am baffled by the gap in the map. The GPS has also tried to take me down a one-way street the wrong way. I followed its commands over a bridge once and found myself miles (kilometres) beyond where I needed to go. It also has no innate sense of traffic flow…so, while it may get you to where you want to go, it sure won’t be the shortest nor likely the quickest route.

If you change your mind enroute to the destination the GPS voice will rapidly nag you into a state of agitation. This can’t be good for your driving state of mind. The female presence who has been programmed into my unit seems to be particularly unyielding.

The best job the GPS did for me was in Hawaii…not surprising, I guess, since the maps for the United States are undoubtedly more thorough than they are for Canadian routes. In Hawaii it worked like a charm because I didn’t know any different. I was lost anyway.

It’s like any technology. You grow used to it and dependent upon it at your own peril. It is amazing that can we even have access to something like this and I am not unappreciative. Some of us, though, still get a kick out of unfolding a roadmap.

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3 Responses to “Trusting my GPS”

  1. We do not have one of those GPS thingies. I truly love exploring with the map. And there is Mapquest on the internet that gives you detailed instructions on how to get there. :-))

  2. Traveling through Arizona years ago, one showed that the car was driving in the desert but in fact we were on the road. I am sure it’s not so amusing when using one in an unknown area.

  3. Used GPS in Grande Prairie. Hubby used his sense of direction and street signs. He arrived 15 minutes before I did. Actual driving time for him was 6 minutes. In Montreal, GPS was a JOKE. It simply is useless in any city that is constantly under construction. Stop the car. Read your map.

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