Several Garmin automotive devices now offer Real Directions.
In reading Garmin's description of Real Directions, we learn that in addition to the normal Text To Speech (TTS) navigational instructions; e.g., "in a half mile, turn left on Elm Street" rather than the non TTS "in point five miles, turn left," Real Directions now offers additional instructions referencing stop signs, stop lights, and even business or landmark names present at the upcoming turn. For example:
"In a quarter mile, turn left at the stop sign"
"In a quarter mile, turn right before the Performing Arts Center"
The second example above, referencing nearby landmarks, is limited at the current time although more may become available with future map updates.
Availability of landmark announcements:
For now, the big advantage to Real Directions includes audio instructions on which lane to be in for an upcoming turn and to let the driver know if the turn is at a stop sign or stoplight. The landmark-announcements are helpful when they occur but the links above show that they only exist for a small number of cities. One can only hope that more landmark announcements will be offered with future City Navigator North America map updates. It's been two years since the above links stated 52 cities being covered and it's possible that with each map update, more cities were added. I certainly hope so but haven't found any discussion of added landmark-audio navigational announcements.
[Update 4/10/15] Our charlesd45 received this response from Garmin regarding landmarks:
It does not work at every landmark. It is only for what is preloaded on the mapping software. Just as junction view files do not display at every junction.
The way the Garmin Real directions will work, if the landmark data is included in the software, it will give you Real directions if you hear the examples you provided, such as when it says Bank of America, and Crackle Barrel, and traffic light, and yes it does use certain companies, unfortunately, we do not have a list of those companies.
It will be in more of a more metropolitan area, or heavily populated areas. We also do not have a list of the heavily populated areas. I hope this answered your questions.
If I can provide further assistance, please let me know. Thank you.
I am happy to assist you. The Real Direction and Real Voice is still very young, and like the junction view as time goes and more updates to the mapping are done more landmarks will be added. It will not have everything in the device as of yet. As long as you keep up with the mapping update, which it does appear that you are they will continue adding to the database. Please let us know if you have any further questions.
As much as I'd love to know which companies tend to be landmarks, where the current "heavily populated areas" are and how many landmarks are built into the current map, I can see where Garmin keeps the answers under wraps as trade secrets.
What we have learned from Garmin thanks to charlesd45 is that: landmarks are built into the map file and therefore additional landmarks can be offered in future map updates; as well as learning that landmarks are most likely to be seen now in big cities and that for business-announced navigational aids, the business-announced upcoming turns may selectively use certain businesses more than others.
[Update 4/12/15] If you haven't heard landmark announcements, our user Box Car has offered a route that will bring up several landmark announcements in Las Vegas NV. You can test this in GPS Simulator mode by saving, then doing a Set Location to the first intersection, then creating a route to the Convention Center:
Box Car wrote:
Driving south on Las Vegas Blvd from Fremont to the convention center you will be told to "Turn left before the Carl's Jr."
That's a great test of Real Voice because it includes the Carl's Jr., Starbucks, and a new instruction I've not heard before: "Make a slight right turn at the traffic light." (I'd never heard the "slight" before.)
I've finally heard landmarks mentioned (and also finally saw the 3D buildings displayed).
I have found that landmark announcements occur for all seven English language TTS3 voices: Serena, Jack, Samantha, Karen, Daniel, Lee and Sangeeta so it is not necessary to use Samantha to hear landmarks announced as has been previously suggested.
As long as one of the above seven voices are chosen for navigation, you will get landmark announcements if they exist. If you don't routinely (or ever!) hear landmark announcements, it's because you haven't traveled to a large city where Garmin has encoded landmark announcements into the map file. We can only hope that Garmin will continue to add to the landmark database in future map updates.
Nokia/Navteq is now HERE.
This will be a big help when driving in complicated urban environments.
I personally would be annoyed with this, I would rather hear the street name/route number instead. Does anyone know if this can be turned off? I prefer Karen's voice over all the others, but would not wish to have this type of instruction.
My new 2797 has these directions and from what I can see already its a big improvement over previous directions.
In my 855 and 3790 I would get something like "Turn right and then left", has confused me often in the past.
Now I get turn right at the traffic light and you see the traffic light long before you get there, then it may say drive 400 feet and turn left !!!
Real directions are only in TTS3 voice file format. If you don't want Real Direcections just select of of the TTS format voice files.
You have two choices:
1) Choose any of the seven* possible "Speaks Real Directions" voices and you'll get the announcement including things like stop signs or traffic lights as well as the street name. The YouTube video shows how an upcoming turn is offered both landmarks and the street name to be turned on:
Although the YouTube mentions landmarks like Carl's Jr and the Performing Arts Center, note that for now, the vast majority of announcements only mention roads, signs and traffic lights.
2) Choose one of the four* non-street name speaking voices and you will only get something like "In point two miles, turn left."
You can not have street name turn announcements without also having the stop sign/traffic light announcements but you can choose a voice that offers neither.
*The eleven possible voices assume you've installed all possible voices to the nuvi. If not, you most likely will be offered voice choices of Samantha who speaks Real Directions and Michelle who neither speaks street names or stop signs, etc.
Thanks for the info, I'm pre-shopping for a new GPS if in the event mine completely quits. The charging port is acting oddly, when I'm driving my GPS "thinks" it is plugged into a PC at random and is unusable for about a minute or two, then reboots. Annoying, but I'm unwilling to get a new one at this point.
Sounds more like a bad cord.
After watching the video in the link you provided, I am now convinced I do NOT want this feature. I really don't want to guess what my GPS may tell me to turn next to, and then have to look for that landmark. I'd rather use a street name or route number, as those are easier to locate then a business or something else. As seen in the example video, if you have never been to that particular city, how would you know which building is the Performing Arts Center? I'd rather look for the street name than trying to find out what building is what. To me, it doesn't seem helpful to say to turn at a Carl Jr's which has been closed and now reopened as a Wendy's... Street names rarely change, if at all.
I thought so as well, however I've used different USB cords at the house while connected to a laptop, and have had similar results where it doesn't seem to recognized being plugged in. It seems to be intermittent, I'll have to do a bit more troubleshooting to figure out.
Here's what I've discovered after using a GPS (3597) with real directions enabled for a 100,000+ miles all over the Ewe-S-Eh? ... Home of the sheep and land of those that are told what to think.
So first I hear, turn left before the Exxon. Then about a 1/4 mile out I hear, turn left at the light or signal then take the ramp on the right.
And there are only some locations where actions at geographic landmarks are used.
The directions seem pretty intuitive, straight forward and easy to understand to me.
There's only been a few times it's been difficult to follow.
Entering roun-a-bouts with more than 6 exits and trying to count the exits is one case, when the intersection has 3 or more streets and you need to make a change of direction and in some mall parking lots where every turn is an alley.
Sometimes it's a little difficult to decipher what's being convayed when roads have more than one lane and the road splits and then splits again.. I've heard, "be in the right two lanes then keep left then keep right," Tends to indicate be in the right lane while taking the left portion of the exit then be prepared to take the exit on the right.
Its like anyone else... It has a few idiosyncrasies in what is said, and you soon learn when some of these conditions occur a quick glance at the display usually gives you a quick idea what's about to happen.
So if your traveling around in say Clayton, Ca. (population 1200), or say Searchlight, Nv., or Boron Ca. You don't need to worry as there aren't all that many land marks to reference and not all that many streets...
Of course, there are a few places where almost every address is actually listed as a RR (Rural Route) even though the locals tend to put names on the streets of the RR's.
So feel free to disable the real directions if you like, but this far, they've been generally helpful to me..
But then again.. I'm a BadAss so wadaIknow?
If you're happy not receiving street names for upcoming turns, you can simply choose one the device's voices that doesn't speak street names and any Garmin GPS can be purchased.
If you want to hear upcoming street names with turning directions but without Real Directions, the task is tougher. Here's a faq showing which Garmin devices speak Real Directions (and Real Voice):
You will need to choose to purchase a device that's not listed in the faq. Over time, the selection of a non Real Voice device will become more difficult and you may end up having to search for earlier models without Real Directions as maybe a refurb or on ebay in the used device market.
In my experience, for the most part, Garmin’s “Real Directions” feature found on many newer GPSr’s is helpful when navigating a route. The ability to turn it off is also a welcome option under certain circumstances.
Unfortunately, map updates do not always keep up with changing field conditions. For example:
“Turn Right at the Mobil Station” is a bit confusing when the Mobil station is now a Valero station. “Turn Right at the Gas Station” would be just as descriptive and less susceptible to change. The same is true when the names of businesses or landmarks are used.
“Take the Second Right” Is also confusing when a third street has been added but not included in a map update. In one case I have noted, the 3rd street has been in place for 3 years without showing up on an update.
In one rare case I observed, “Turn Left at the Light” was confusing when the light had been replaced by a stop sign.
With the implementation of the E911 laws across the country over the last decade, street names are added and changed more frequently than maps are updated. In my state, the law requires driveways over 300 feet in length to be given a street name. While the map database deals reasonably well with these changes, it is up to the homeowner to post and maintain the street name correctly. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. “Real Directions” may easily count one of these unmarked driveway streets when it says “Take the Third Left”
Admittedly, there has always been some confusion even with older GPSr’s without “Real Directions”. “Turn Right on Main Street” may not be clear when Main Street is marked with a route number instead of a name. The converse is also true.
As the popularity of standalone GPS units decreases, I suspect the frequency of map updates will decrease as well. Although this will ultimately affect all GPSr’s, IMO, it will impact “Real Directions” to a greater extent since it relies on more detailed ground information.
This being said, I still find it to be a helpful feature at this point. Obviously, this is a matter of opinion depending on how and where you use your GPSr.
I have found the real directions a big plus om my travels.Have not had the opportunity yet to get a turn left at the shell station or such.Hope to soon.Plenty of turn at the light or get in either of the 2 right lanes.Yes there are times when the name of a road changes or a business has been replaced by another.Long before I get to a turn I have already glanced at the screen for the upcoming road to turn at.If by chance I go past the turn the GPS is already ready for that. It will get me back on track by recalculating the route without me hearing that famous recalculating word.
Like others have posted you can pick another voice if you want the normal direction mode.So that should satisfy everyone.
Just a example there is a red light at one intersection with the road to the left one name and the other to the right a different name.GPS map screen shows with both names instructions say turn at the light depending on the direction you are navigating to . Now the driver looks to the left the wife looks to the right.One says not correct street but voice guidance says turn left at light.In this case I will take the real directions. It does amaze me just how good they do keeping up with the mapping involving new roads and etc.
Typically, when someone gives me directions, they almost always tell me to turn at the place of a business or other type of landmark. When I ask for the streetnames, they almost never know what it is or the route number of the road. While this may work for most people, I strongly prefer to have street names or route numbers. I would much rather keep my attention focused on the road rather than look around for a place of business on the sides.
As it stands now, I rarely look at the screen on my GPS, only listen to its directions so I can focus on the road and surroundings. With this feature enabled, I think I would have to refer to it more often to see where I need to be, which isn't something I'd like to do in an area I'm not too familiar.
Does anyone know if there's a way to "try before you buy" with a Navigation system? If not, I'll certainly be looking for a unit WITHOUT this feature, or do away with GPS altogether which would be a pain as I'm currently driving approx 1250 miles a week.
As we have stated several times in this thread, If you don't want Real Directions, don't use a TTS3 voice. It's really that simple.
I'd recommend not using a GPS and getting and using a paper map.
Point five is such an abstract concept most Americans have a hard time comprehend.
Point five is such an abstract concept most Americans have a hard time comprehend.
I actually like the real directions especially at night when some street signs are not very visible. Easier to look for landmark at those intersections.
Sounds like an improvement to me.
Got my first Real Direction today to turn right at Burger King.Was on my way to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa rightoff 41.
A day to celebrate...with a Whopper?
I'm still waiting for anything more specific than 'end of road,' 'at the stop light,' or 'at the stop sign.' I do frequently hear 'be in any of the two right lanes' but can't remember if that's Real Directions or if it occurs even with non Real Directions devices. But for sure, other than in a simulation far from home, I've not heard a business or other building turn.
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