Prior to the invention of automotive GPS units, traveling to unknown areas had to be done by reading maps and/or asking for directions. Both methods have problems. For example, how can one effectively read a map while driving? Reading the map is only best if there are other passengers in the car, which is not always possible. Asking for directions can also be annoying, at least if the person giving the directions is doing it in a less obvious way.
Fortunately, with the advent of automotive GPS units, the process of reading maps and getting directions has never been easier as each can be done either through voice activation, touching the screen, pressing a button, or a combination. A map showing the exact location appears on the screen, while directions can be provided via computer-generated voice. Nothing is easier or better. The only problem is deciding which automotive GPS unit to buy. This article will be a guide telling consumers what they should pay attention to when choosing an automotive GPS unit.
The first area of consideration when buying an automotive GPS unit is looking at how accurate the device is. One way to determine this is by how many channels the GPS unit has. This is because more channels means the unit will be able to communicate with more satellites, resulting in a wider range. Another way to determine the accuracy of most automotive GPS units is through their antenna design. Ensure that the antenna is placed in a free-standing area of the unit.
The next thing to think about when looking at an automotive GPS unit is size. There are some automotive GPS units that are not portable. Onstar that must be installed in the car is an example of an automotive GPS unit that cannot be transferred from car to car. Many other automotive GPS units vary in portability.
Third, automotive GPS unit perspective buyers should pay attention to the interface of the unit. More expensive automotive GPS units will contain voice activation and/or touch screens, while cheaper ones can only be used via a series of buttons. If there are other people in the car, using the buttons isn’t so bad, but if only the driver can use the unit, it’s important to keep them as free as possible. It is also important to try to get an automotive GPS unit that has the ability to provide directions via computer-generated voice. Doing so is another way of ensuring that car drivers keep their eyes on the road and not elsewhere.
The software that automotive GPS units use is also important. Most of the top units have excellent mapping software included with the unit. However, over time, mapping software has become obsolete. You should ensure that the software of your automotive GPS unit is updated at least every 6 months. There is often a fee for this service but if you live in a fast growing urban environment then this is a good investment. Your automotive GPS unit is only as good as its operating and mapping software.