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Recalculating ….

Posted by JenThorpe at 1:24 PM on July 14, 2012

You can’t always listen to what your GPS device tells you to do. My husband had a birthday this week, and some of our friends took us to a restaurant to celebrate. The driver was using one of the Garmin GPS devices. We knew where the restaurant was located. However, our friend wanted to try and get used to driving and following the directions given by the Garmin. This was sort of a “test run”.

The Garmin’s “speaks” in a female sounding voice. We noticed that she sounded rather irritated whenever my friend wasn’t following her suggestions. “Recalculating….” she would, disapprovingly say. This happened almost immediately after we started driving, because the Garmin wanted my friend to essentially make a u-turn to get back to a larger street. However, the street we live on is somewhat narrow, and was filled with parked vehicles, so it made more sense to drive around the block, instead.

The Garmin then took us on a route to the restaurant that my husband and I had never taken. Soon, we learned why we had never decided to go that way. The restaurant is located in an area that has recently had the road built up. The Garmin took us down a residential side street, named “Garcia”, and then instructed my friend to drive across a four lane road that had a large and impassible median in the middle of it.

He wisely chose not to attempt that particular maneuver. The Garmin complained. “Recalculating…”. The device felt that my friend had simply missed his turn, and attempted to direct him back around to Garcia road. Had he selected to follow the directions given by the GPS unit, we would have been driving in an endless loop until we ran out of gas.

What caused this problem? It could be that the satellite hadn’t caught up to the recent changes to the road. Perhaps it couldn’t tell that the road was now a four lane with a large, impassible, median in the center. Or, the problem could have been because my friend had not updated the device with newer versions of the map for quite some time. Either way, it just goes to show that you cannot always listen to what a GPS device tells you to do, even when it says “Recalculating…” in a tone that implies that it is disappointed with you for not following its directions.

Image:Driving A Car by BigStock

One Comment

  1. From Eddie S at 7:38 am on July 16, 2012

    I’ve had a Garmin since 2006, and finally got around to updating the Maps on it in late 2010. A subsequent map update in late 2011 was available and I installed that too. Haven’t had a map since that first update in 2010. The real problems can be when cities or towns change lot/house numbers and those never seem to get updated by whomever (or whatever company) collates those databases. As example, my street (only a quarter mile long) was originally numbered 1-80 from the west side in the early 1920′s, but 20 years ago the town changed it to 1-80 starting on the east side. No new Garmin, TomTom, or even using Waze on the iPhone knows where my #8 is, so I always load home as the old #66.

    Anyway, nothing still beats having a basic sense of direction (even in an unknown city) to help out “Jyll” on the garmin when all seems lost!