Prior to the invention of automotive GPS units, traveling to unknown areas had to be done through reading a map and/or asking for directions. Both methods had problems. For instance, how can one effectively read a map while driving? Map-reading is only best if there is another passenger in the car, which isn’t always possible. Asking for directions can also be annoying, at least if the person giving the directions does so in a manner that is not as clear.
Fortunately, with the emergence of automotive GPS units the process of map-reading and getting directions has never been easier as each can be done either through voice activation, touching the screen, pushing buttons or a combination. Maps pinpointing the exact location pop right up on the screen, while directions can be given through a computer-generated voice. Nothing could be easier or better. The only issue is deciding which automotive GPS unit should be purchased. This article will serve as a guide telling consumers what they should be on the lookout for when choosing automotive GPS units.
The first area of consideration when buying automotive GPS units is seeing 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 a larger number of satellites, resulting in more coverage. Another way to determine the accuracy of most automotive GPS units is through how its antenna is designed. Make sure the antenna is placed in an area of the unit where it will be able to stand freely.
The next thing to think about when looking at automotive GPS units is size. There are some automotive GPS units that will not be portable. Onstar, which has to be installed in one’s car, is an example of an automotive GPS unit that can not be moved from car-to-car. Many other automotive GPS units vary in portability.
Thirdly, perspective buyers of automotive GPS units should take notice of a unit’s interface. More expensive automotive GPS units will contain voice-activation and/or touch-screens, while cheaper ones can only be used through a series of buttons. If another person is in the car, using buttons is not as bad, but if only the driver can use the unit, it is important that it be as hands-free as possible. It is also important to try to get an automotive GPS unit that has the capability to give directions through a computer-generated voice. Doing so is another way to ensure that the driver of the car keeps their eyes on the road and nowhere else.
The software that the automotive automotive GPS unit uses is also critical. Most top of the line units have very good mapping software included with the unit. However, as time passes the mapping software becomes out of date. You should make sure that you automotive GPS units software is updated at least once every 6 months. Frequently there is cost for this service but if you live in fast growing urban environment then it is a good investment. Your automotive GPS unit is only as good as its operating and mapping software.