Naughty Nav System - 2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST: Naughty Nav System

June 26, 2013

2013 Ford Focus ST

During a 120-mile round trip drive, I was intently following the route I had entered into our 2013 Ford Focus ST's navigation system. Going through five freeway interchanges in 30 miles, I was especially attentive to my location, lest I miss a change and subject myself to an inconvenient exit turnaround.

While cruising along a nice stretch along the final freeway, the nav voice started to insist that I move to the far left and enter the "express" lane. Luckily, I knew enough about where I was and the toll roads involved to realize that the nav was directing me into a prepaid "fast track" with no cash or credit card option. If you didn't have an account with a sensor fixed to your windshield, you were going to pay a hefty fine by the time you excised your car from the express lane.

Instead, I merely paralleled the toll lane, shaking my finger at the nav for its naughty, and potentially costly, suggestion.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 12,070 miles


  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    That's not good. I can think of plenty of people who would just have plopped themselves into the far lane once their navigation told them to do it. Out of curiosity, does anyone know how much a ticket like that would set you back?

  • does the Nav have settings for avoiding toll roads? Most I've seen have that as an option.

  • You mean the toll lanes on the I-10 that only just opened at the end of February? How often do you expect them to update their maps? Even the best GPS still systems still require a level of attentiveness.

  • cjasis cjasis Posts:

    I'm usually not coming to the defenese of nav systems but the user still bears some responsibility for paying attention. Moreover, every state has its own peculiarities vis a vis toll roads, etc. Hell, CA even has differences within the state (carpool lanes which exist only during certain hours in N. CA vs. permanent carpool lanes in S. CA). I don't think it's reasonable to assume that a manufacturer can accomodate all of those nuances in their programming.

  • bc1960 bc1960 Posts:

    I've had Garmins tell me to get in the HOV lane when I was alone, and to take MD 200, which is EZ-Pass only (or billed with a 50% surcharge through license plate recognition). Once it told me to exit from I-79, drive straight through the traffic light, and back down the entrance ramp to I-79--that was probably because I had it set to "shortest distance" and it bypassed a bend in I-79 by going a straighter but slower and less convenient route. The intelligence of the algorithms and the information they take into account is limited, although varying from system to system. Unless I know I want to take a toll road, if I use nav I now use the "no tolls" setting. There aren't any ferries were I live so I ignored the "no ferries" setting and that bit me when I was on vacation last year driving blue highways from upstate NY to NH--oops, the road ends at the shore of Lake Champlain.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Oh wonderful, if left lane cruisers weren't already a problem, now nav systems are instructing drivers to do that? When will the madness end?

  • benjo3686 benjo3686 Posts:

    Google Maps on my android will do this every now and again. Around the beltway in DC it would jump to the road that was either an under or overpass as I went by. A minor annoyance, but no program/system is going to be flawless.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Too many folk take satnavs as gospel. There was a case in England where the driver of an 18-wheeler set his for "shortest route" and ended up stuck on some 6.5 foot wide green lane with hairpins. Whatever happened to "plan ahead"?

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