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Navigation Tech Checklist for Car Shoppers

GPS Navigation Features To Look for When Buying a New Car

Preparation

Review the vehicle owner's manual.

Starting Out: General GPS Navigation Features

Is the screen large enough to read easily? Even in bright sunlight?

Does the interface include:
A touchscreen?
Knobs and buttons?
A combination of both?
Is the interface easy and intuitive to use?

Does the system respond quickly to inputs?

Does the system provide:
      Voice activation?
      Geo fencing?
      Weather reports?
      Restaurant ratings?
      Topographical maps?
      Traffic info?
      Notification of traffic incidents
      Fuel finder
      "Breadcrumbing"?
      Off-road routing?

Mapping Software and Graphics:

Where does mapping software reside?
DVD
Hard disk
SD card

Mapping software can be updated. Cost to update $ _____

Are map graphics realistic and detailed?

Does the map provide a:
3-D view?
Aerial view? If so, is the angle adjustable?
Does the system have color-coded maps showing parks, shopping malls, etc.?

Destination and POI Input

Can you input destinations by:
Address?
Intersection?
POI?
Phone number?
Point on map?
Other?

Does the system include an address book?

Does the system have a "Home" button for quick routing?

Does the system provide info and routing to emergency services?

Does the system allow inputting multiple destinations and waypoints for stops along a route?

Number of Points of Interest (POIs) ____

Routing

Do you have a choice of routes to a destination?
Quickest?
Shortest?

Can you avoid freeways/toll roads/ferries/etc.?

Is it easy to cancel a route?

Does the system quickly and easily reroute you if you miss a turn?

Can you preview a chosen route? If so, in what level of detail?

Are the turn-by-turn directions clear via:
Map graphics on the display?
Voice guidance through the audio system?

Does the system provide:
A split screen at turns showing your upcoming maneuver on one side and a routing screen on other side?
Lane guidance for negotiating complex freeway exits?


See the related articles in the Car Technology 101 series.


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