I own a Nuvi 350 and for the first time, I really put my GPS to use. I flew to Buffalo airport and was planning to drive up north towards Niagara Falls and Toronto in Canada.
From Buffalo airport, I had set my destination to Sheraton hotel on the Canadian side. For whatever reason, the GPS had me going south and Route 20 east. I was already wondering why I was heading south, but I decided to follow my GPS. After 50 miles (and being stupid), I stopped off at a gas station and found out that I was heading in the wrong direction.
Then I got really nervous because I was in unfamiliar territory and I was totally dependent on my GPS. I also found out that my expected time of arrival would be 4:15am next day!! I set my destination again and I was sure it was the correct address. It still gave me the same route!
I played with the settings and turned off "avoid tolls". As soon as I turned that setting off, the GPS had me going in the correct direction. Heading back north and crossing the Canadian border, the only toll that I encountered was the Peace bridge.
Has anyone encountered this before? I checked the map on the GPS and it had me going east across New York State to go up to Canada. Technically, the GPS is correct if I wanted to avoid tolls. But I think it's crazy when you're suppose to reach your destination in half an hour and all of a sudden it takes you on a route more than halfway across a state just to avoid one toll.
I guess I was partly responsible because I did not double check my settings. But at the same time, I was unfamiliar with my GPS due to lack of use.
I'm just curious if anyone ever got directions that were way off base when they could reach their destination a lot faster.
I also want to comment that the red light POI file was of great help! While driving in Toronto, it alerted me to several red light cameras! I guess I can say that the locations that I encountered were pretty accurate because I also saw signs that alerted drivers there was a red light camera coming up.
The only time my GPS has given me inaccurate directions was when I pressed the wrong button for the destination.
And yes, I always carry maps in my car - just in case!
My GPS does not like to make left turns, so I usually check when I notice the POI is on the left to see if the GPS wants me to make a circuitous set of right turns.
One time, it directed me to cross a small stream it didn't seem to know existed. I wasn't sure if I was seeing a stream, so I stopped the car and took a look. At first I thought maybe a street had flooded, but no, it was a stream. The street continued on the other side of the river.
I was in Blacksburg VA with my granddaughter looking for a park. We couldn't get to the park because there was a permanent barrier just before the park entrance. It was only accessible from the other side of a highway.
I had this happen to me also. It was the avoid tolls that caused the problem. It was bring me through Quebec some were!! I guess there is a place to cross into Canada from the US without a toll in Quebec. I turned off the avoid tolls and was back on the right roads in no time.
That is certainly the problem and has been reported many times before. If you have Avoid Tolls turned on there is no way to get from Buffalo NY to Canada without crossing a bridge with will require you to pay a toll. The Nuvi will calculate a route to the nearest border crossing that does not require a toll to be paid. As you can see it's a long ways from Buffalo.
For some reason my GPS will not always take me to my brother in laws house in Chicago. It takes me a block away. I have tried it several times with the same result. Not a biggee.... but have always wondered.
My 265WT has always gotten me to my destination. It, however, may choose some strange ways of getting there but it always gets me there in the end.
I think at least some of the difficulties I see and that are reported in this thread arise from the software in the Garmin GPS giving a different relative priority to considerations that we might ourselves given the chance. The example given by the first poster is a situation in which the person using the machine would prefer that "avoid tolls" take a lower priority relative to the background priority of using routes with short distance and time.
In my own case I sometimes see circuitous routings in local navigation arise from trying a little too hard to avoid left turns.
I suppose Garmin could give us a slider to show just how hard we want to try on the various preferences, but that would be going in the opposite direction of the general simplification of user interface they seem to be striving for so I don't expect to see it anytime soon.
I hope I am not repeating what has already been posted. I have had a few instances where the GPS has not been spot on with the directions. The first 2 are attributable to map updates being behind. I was exiting the airport in Austin where they have done a lot of construction. It had me exit then get back on the next exit. The other was new housing where streets were not in the database. The other thing I have found with my Garmin is that it does not like to go away from the destination even though setting was fastest route. It had me drive several miles south with quite a few turns and lights to get on a freeway when there was an entrance just North that is much faster. The longer route does go by a McDonalds so I can get a coffee for the road though.
Guess we should nudge the companies to change how the software handles this issue. It should have a more intuitive routing and realize you have not made this trip before (maybe by the length of the normal trips you make, or a set limit as default in vehicle options) and automatically pop up a warning that a better (shorter, faster, more direct, detour) route is available if you take x tolls/Roads? Maybe warnings will reduce the occurrence of users getting wrong directions in unfamiliar territory.
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