Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tech Rant - Sat Nav and Users of

This is not an anti SatNav rant as I am a big user of said Technology. I use TomTom Navigator 6 on my Palm TX with a GlobalSat Bluetooth GPS. I like it so much my wife and I have even nicknamed the SatNav Penelope as the voice I use sounds like very posh lady. No this little rant is about users of the technology who clearly should never be let out unaccompanied.

Two stories I have heard of recently that highlight what I am talking about:
  • The Coach driver with a bus full of children wanting to go to Hampton Court
  • A posh lady who blindly followed her SatNav into a river
The coach driver just typed in 'Hampton Court' to his SatNav and blindly followed it. He ended up driving into central London to a street called, yes, you guessed it 'Hampton Court Road'. The children were stuck on the coach for 8 hours or so. Now anyone with a modicum of common sense would have realised central London is not where Hampton Court is and especially a coach driver should have. Secondly he clearly just typed in the destination as a street search and not a Point of Interest search or Post Code search. He clearly had no idea how to use the technology. The coach company then banned their drivers from using SatNav. Why? It was not the SatNav's fault, merely the drivers stupidity. Train them properly!

The Posh lady apparently, this is second hand knowledge so I cannot vouch for accuracy, blindly followed her SatNav directions into a Ford that was clearly too deep but since it said go that way she did. Her car drifted down stream and she was later rescued. Instead of calling a garage she phoned for her chauffeur who came and picked her up and she left her £60,000 Mercedes in the water. A good case of more money than sense.

Never Blindly follow SatNav and disengage your brain. It is a brilliant tool to have but don't throw common sense out the window. Look where the route is taking you and check that it is the correct destination you wish to go to. If it tries to direct you down a road that is clearly wrong or dangerous carry on going and it will re-route you.

The village of Exton has a sign to warn users of impending doom if blindly following SatNav direction.

I learned the lesson very early on when using an inferior product to TomTom and ended up on such a long detour that I was an hour or so late to where I was heading and my wife was not amused at all. The reason, I had messed with some parameters and was in such a hurry that I didn't check the route it calculated, which was very wrong indeed.

Don't just hand your life over to technology and keep you brain engaged!


Nick Jackson said...

Very Good! Shame I can't drive :(


Nick Payne said...

Did you know that if you go to Google Maps and ask it for directions to New York from London (and even my hometown), it actually tells you to swim the Atlantic ocean.