Published On: Wed, Dec 24th, 2014

Sat-Nav: Should You Let A Computer Guide You To Unfamiliar Destinations?

It’s no secret that satellite navigation is quite popular with motorists in the 21st century. Instead of looking at outdated paper maps, one just enters a destination into their device. It will then plot the best route according to your requirements.

satellite navigation devices

These days people can also use satellite navigation “apps” on their smartphones. Indeed, I use one on my Apple iPhone as it means I don’t need to carry around an extra gadget with me!

Of course, many people prefer to have a dedicated satellite navigation device in their cars. Some people’s cars have built-in satellite navigation as part of their vehicle’s infotainment systems. The technology’s based on one that the military used for decades before civilians.

But, as you can imagine, there are sceptics of satellite navigation. The main bugbear that some folks have with satellite navigation is that it doesn’t always get things right. Maps need to get updated on a regular basis. Otherwise, you could end up getting directed to dead ends or non-existent roads!

These days, most map updates are free for life. However, that wasn’t always the case. With older devices, one would usually have to pay for all map updates. That was another negative point against the use of satellite navigation.

Bearing these points in mind, is it a good idea to use satellite navigation technology today? In a word, yes. Here are some reasons why:

Voice directions

Some people new to satellite navigation believe that the technology is dangerous. Why? Because they think, you have to keep staring at the LCD screen for directions. Of course, that just isn’t true. All devices, regardless of whether they’re built-in or portable, offer spoken directions.

That means you don’t have to take your eyes off the road, and you lessen the risk of having an auto accident. Gary from Imperial Car Supermarket also points out another useful feature. If you don’t like the voice or accent from your device, you can also use different voices – and genders!

Traffic reports

Another useful thing about satellite navigation devices is the fact they offer traffic reports. If you plot a route, it will take into account any current traffic problems such as roadworks and emergencies.

Your device can then plot an alternative route that will save you time. After all; the last thing you want to do is get stuck in traffic for several minutes or even hours on end!

Alternative route planning

Let’s face it; not everyone is OK with driving on highways, motorways and other high-speed roads. Some motorists, especially those that are new to driving, prefer to drive at a slower pace.

You can configure your device to plot alternative routes according to your requirements. For instance, you can tell it to avoid highways and other similar roads. You can even tell it to plot routes via individual towns and cities if you wish.

There is plenty of scope for alternative route planning with satellite navigation devices. It’s not something that’s open to you when you’re using paper maps!