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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