I was intrigued when I heard about this new technology called auto navigation systems. They say that GPS and other similar systems are accurate and sophisticated. I can drive around an unfamiliar location and a computerized voice will guide me to my destination. I was a bit apprehensive and I wanted to confirm if this new technology is as good as its hype. I got the chance to found out during a recent vacation, when I got the opportunity to use a rental car equipped with one of the new auto navigation systems.
I traveled to Florida where it can be tough to find your way around, especially in crowded tourist cities like Orlando. We were accommodated on a hotel on Disney property so my husband could attend a conference. As a result, I had a few days to spend exploring the area. Since I was alone, I didn’t want to get lost, so I thought that it would be an opportunity to check out the auto navigation systems.
I chose to rent an Explorer equipped with a GPS unit installed in the dash, and I immediately began to test it. I wanted to find out if it could lead me back to my hotel and to other nearby destinations that I already had the directions for. It did a pretty decent job, though it got a little confused when I ignored a turn command on a one-way street and it had to work out an alternative route.
That’s the thing with auto navigation systems–as hard as they try to advertise them as an excellent human guide, they are not human. They are flawed in the manner that all machines are, and they are unable to provide you with hints based on immediate information.
Auto navigation systems are incapable of reminding you to pay attention to where you’re going, to check the street signs, or make a quick turn. They can merely serve as guides to the limit of their programmed capacity and you need to do the rest. They are accurate for most of the time, but they won’t always give you the best way to arrive at a destination or provide you with updated information about detours and other possible changes along the way.
Hopefully, the technology in auto navigation systems will continue to improve, and future models may be able to sense that you’re about to commit a mistake and will aid you in avoiding it. Until then, it makes sense to be safe by obtaining directions from real people who are familiar with the area.