• Apr 17th 2006 at 4:01PM
  • 8
Martha McKay of the Wichita Eagle recently tested the VZ Navigator, a GPS navigation system offered by Verizon for its Motorola V325 cell phone. The service became available in January.
In a similar manner to TechnoRide’s testing of OnStar’s Turn-By-Turn service, McKay entered her destination address into the cellphone, which downloaded directions to the unit. McKay then followed “Michelle’s” voice prompts and found herself driving a half-mile past her destination to the Bergen County Jail. A Verizon representative later explained that the VZ Navigator’s mapping directions are provided by Navteq Corp., and such inaccurate information was probably an aberration.

Uh-huh. McKay at least can take some comfort that VZ Navigator didn’t guide her over a cliff. Share your sat-nav experiences (good and bad) with your fellow reader in 'comments.'

[Source: The Record via The Wichita Eagle]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Just bought the Magellan Roadmate 800 at COSTCO for a mere $500 +sales tax. Works great, except that with the antenna being attached to the unit it takes 2 to 5 min. for it to acquire the satellite signal each time I start up from a park in my underground garage. The windshield suction mount is very sturdy, but obtrusive and awkward whereas I ordered a clip that fits upon the air conditioning vent, much better and unit still gets a good signal. Pain in the butt to connect/disconnnect power via the cigarette lighter, and have to remove unit from its base and put out of sight each time vehicle parked to eliminate theft.

      Would be ideal if there were an already constructed spot on/in the dash for the unit wherein it can be hidden by a drop down cover, a built in dash power plug attachment and an attachment to an internally wired on-roof antenna just like a built in.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Hi all - Just a few things. First, thanks for referencing my story. It was published in the Wichita Eagle but I actually write for The Record in Bergen County, New Jersey. It went out on the wire and the Eagle reprinted it.
      I enjoyed everyone's comments...just fyi, there's a great piece in this week's New Yorker magazine all about Navteq and GPS by Nick Paumgarten. www.newyorker.com

      - Martha McKay
      • 9 Years Ago
      Blaming Navteq doesn't really work considering that pretty much every GPS nav. system uses their data.

      Navteq data has its flaws, but I don't think there's any better data out there.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Question: Didn't she SEE her destination as she passed it??? Proves that driving while using a cellphone isn't safe! One can still read street signs and building #'s.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I use a pocket PC / Pharos Receiver / Mapopolis combo for the purpose - and you know what? It has the same dang problems (though not usually to the same extent - a half a mile is pretty large). And every time I've checked the mislocated addresses in other mapping tools (google maps, mapquest, etc), they ALL have the same incorrect information - the source data is NAVTEQ in almost all cases, and it's just not pinpoint accurate. I suspect that NAVTEQs source data is the local government, who provides them obsolete data or data that is changed after it is provided.
      • 9 Years Ago
      If you read the article you'd see that she was testing the device. It's not a question in this particular instance of seeing your destination... not only that but as an owner of a GPS device depending on what you are looking for it isn't always easy to "see" that you've arrived.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I tried another nav system and got similar crazy results trying to navigate to specific points. I don't think the technology is there yet if you consider "close enough" to be insufficient. Map making just isn't that accurate all the time, and in a growing area many places and even roads aren't on the map. It's useable, and helpful when you have no clue where you are, but mostly as a moving map to help orient yourself and assist in navigating, but it can't carry the load alone. This example shows why an alert driver is also needed.

      The Verizon phone system is crazy. A very small screen, you have to use your minutes to use the system, monthly fee, initial costs, etc. Who's gonna use it on a 6 hour trip? You're better off buying a $300 real Nav system and saving on overages and monthly charges. Face it, most of us just use them occasionally and could make do with a nice city map for about $40. But then what fun is that?

      I have to find customer's homes on a nearly daily basis. But most of the time I look it up online first, get the directions noted on a pad, then drive there w/o an electronic assistance. Get lost? I whip out the paper map while pulled over.

      When units that give street names, have color screens, and touchscreens hit $200 I'll get one. That may be a while, however. They may be more accurate by then.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Why is the phone in the pic going to my friend Ken's old house... very scary you autobloggers!!!
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