I rode in a car with a fancy navigation system. I watched fascinated as the display showed our position on a map. One of the things I really liked about it is how it shows one way streets and street names. In areas with lots of one way streets and most streets don’t have signs, it’s incredibly useful.
An icon on the map indicates the car’s position and which way it faces. One puzzling thing is how twice when we were starting out, it drew the line in the direction away from what we were facing. In each situation, it could have had us turn down another street to join the route it was mapping for us without having us turn around in the middle of the street. Of course, as we set out, it quickly redrew the route when we didn’t turn around.
I think having such a system would be dangerous for me, at least for the first few months. All I could do in the car is watch the screen, analyzing how and how well it works.
The position of the display in the car could be a bit friendlier for the driver, too. I found glancing from it to the road while in the passenger’s seat problematic. I wonder if there’s a better way to mount it higher without blocking much of the view from the front window or requiring the driver to look down. I don’t think I would feel safe driving with it on for a while. It’s a good thing there are also audio cues.
I have lots of questions, of course. Upon asking, I learned the car’s system isn’t comprehensive. The owners must purchase the disks for various regions of the country. This could be problematic for a road trip across the country. What ever happened to good old fashioned maps? I’ve become so accustomed to getting directions through online mapping services, that many times when I’m driving around lost, I find myself yearning for an Internet connection so I can figure out how to get to where I need to be.
I also learned the importance of the thermometers measuring the oustide temperature recently. I just thought of them as being rather novel without much real purpose, but this winter, several times while I was driving around, it would have been nice to know the outside temperature so I would know whether ice on the roads would be a real hazard.
Addendum: Welcome, visitors from Scripting News!
I was wondering where all of the comments were coming from. My readers have been strangely quiet lately.