Cars 101: GPS Navigation.Posted: August 2, 2011 | |
Too often, I see someone who’s purchased a flashy new whip with a navigation system installed in the dashboard, and they don’t know how to use it. So, here’s some instruction on how to properly operate a typical in-dash navigation unit.
Navigation systems have vastly improved since they started showing up in luxury cars in the late 1990s, to the point where they are essentially powered by software familiar to most portable GPS users. This has made them cheaper and easier to install in most normal cars. Touch screens have also made them a lot more user-friendly, which makes learning to use one a piece of cake.
First off, on the menu screen, look for the menu that can direct you to either type in your address manually, say it via voice activation (Most systems need to be ‘trained’ to do this properly, and can be a hassle), or search for it via some point of interest. Once you have the destination, voice directions and the onboard map will allow you to get to your destination properly. However, be aware that once you go try and change anything on the touch screen, you might lose the map or the voice directions. Some more advanced systems are capable of synchronizing with your satellite radio system to detect traffic (XM NavTraffic, for example) and possibly route you around the traffic jam that is perfectly capable of ruining your day. Overall, GPS has gotten much more user-friendly in the past few years, so it’s only smart to learn to use it, as it’s never let me down once. So long as you know how to use it, it won’t let you down either.