Auto Navigation Systems are for Work, Play, and Everything in Between

Back in the dark ages, it was nearly impossible to navigate the shark-infested waters of Main Street or big city USA without the assistance of a road map or some other major navigational aid. Back then if you found yourself lost you either had to stop and ask for directions at a convenience store along the way or drive along until you found a payphone you could use in order to call for better directions. This process became a little easier once cell phones became prominent and affordable to the masses. Today it has become even better if you can believe it.

Gone are the days when you drove around in circles hoping to find a place to stop and get directions to take you back to the beaten path before your gas tank uses the last of its fumes. Now you can simply use GPS tracking to find out where you are and then get directions to the nearest destination of choice or simply find your way back towards your destination. You can actually go on vacation now without taking a massive road atlas or a half dozen maps of a half dozen states along for the ride. Gone are the days of needing a tour guide in order to fold your maps back into their former positions.

Vacations are now much more relaxed as a result of the lack of stress involved in merely getting there. Not only is getting there easier with the use of auto navigation systems, but getting around once you reach your vacation destination is much easier to handle. This makes the entire vacation experience much more enjoyable to all involved and helps build memories that aren’t marred by serious adult conversations about the lack of road signs and a few expletives about the fact that armadillos seem to be the only ones around to ask for directions.

Beyond the vacation factor, business meetings were always a step away from potential disaster before the advent of auto navigation systems that exist to help you find your way in the jungle that has become corporate America. The good and the bad of corporate America is that it isn’t only on one coast or another but scattered throughout the country. This means that there are times when you will find it absolutely necessary to take drives in places you may have never considered visiting at any other time in your life. Cornfields, I assure you, begin to blend together and all look alike after a while. Only the most keen of observers can tell at any given time one cornfield from another. This is one of those times when it is almost necessary to have an excellent tool to assist you in navigating throughout the countryside en route to your business destination, particularly if it is in the Midwest.

Many times being late is not an option and being lost in the middle of nowhere is even less of an option. An excellent auto navigation system will help you avoid this possibility all together while also helping you in other instances where weather, road construction, and general traffic delays could cause you to be late for those oh so important meetings.

You will also find that even when your job isn’t on the line there are plenty of reasons to make use of your auto navigation system. Work and play aren’t the only reasons to make use of systems such as this. Getting to your daughters big day at school or your son’s big soccer game even when traffic is snarled to a standstill is another great reason to use this type of technology. In fact, there are situations almost every day in which this technology will prove quite useful if you are of the mind to utilize it. It doesn’t really matter what you are using your auto navigation system for as long as you are using it widely and faithfully you are getting your money’s worth.

Auto Navigation Systems are Aids not Replacements for Attentive Driving

If you are in the market for an auto navigation system you are definitely not alone. Some people are content to purchase a device, stick it in their windows, and hope it works well whenever the need arises. For those, it is quite likely that most stand-alone navigation units will work quite nicely. The thing to remember is that not everyone is created equal when it comes to primary or even secondary navigational skills. For that reason alone, not all auto navigation units are created equally either.

Don’t expect your auto navigation system to replace a ‘co pilot’ by any means but it should definitely do in a pinch and be more than capable of helping you get through a few lost moments while stuck in traffic, detouring, or taking a country drive. You won’t have a natural conversation with your navigational system no matter how much the television commercials attempt to convince you that this will be the case. You can however get great details about every single turn of your trip including details about landmarks you should see along the way.

You should be aware that when you miss a turn the alternate route isn’t immediately forthcoming. Computers contain data and it takes a moment to go through the mountain of data sometimes in order to come up with an alternate route. Be patient when dealing with your auto navigation system and it should serve you well both in times of crisis and during your regular daily driving. I know this isn’t always too terribly easy in high stress situations but when you look at it, using a navigation system is a far cry better than relying on maps that must be dug out, dusted off, and translated or an inability to read a map and ending up even more lost than you were to begin with.

Even the best auto navigation system on the market isn’t a replacement for attention to details, seeing and remembering important landmarks, and paying attention to street signs and what lies ahead. The good news is that the technology for these systems is constantly evolving and improving. Data is synching much more rapidly than ever before and more and more often you are finding much more intuitive and user-friendly interfaces. The maps that are provided onscreen (in the more sophisticated versions) combined with the verbal directions and details work together in order to create a great driving experience, which would otherwise be filled with uncertainty, doubt, and no small degree of stress.

Regardless of how effective the auto navigation system you choose is, it only matters how effective you feel it is. If it gives you the directions and insights you need in order to reach your destination safely and on time, then I really can’t find fault in the system and would hope that you would not either. There is no such thing as problem free in this day and age and these systems are only as good as the mapping data that they have. The really good news, however, is that data is more often accurate than inaccurate and in most cases you can easily reach your destination.

When selecting an auto navigation system you should really consider how often you travel and how often during that travel you wish you had an alternate route or at the very least an option for your directions, how often you find yourself lost and clueless and needing to ask for directions, and how often you really feel you will use the device you decide to purchase. If you don’t feel you will get the most possible use of your navigation device, then consider one that can be used outside the automobile as well or at the very least one of the less expensive versions. You want to get your money’s worth from whichever device you choose for your auto navigation system.

Auto Navigation System Provides Less Stress Travel

Have you ever found yourself frustrated with slow moving traffic only to reach a certain point (an hour or so later) to find that the problem seems to suddenly fix itself? Have you ever been sent on a poorly marked detour during road construction only to find an hour or two later that you are hopelessly lost and have no clue where to go from there? Do you travel often and find that road signs are often obstructed or missing all together? Have you ever found yourself late to important meetings as the result of bad traffic, bad weather, or poor directions? If you have answered yes to any of these questions you are a prime candidate for purchasing an auto navigation system for your car, truck, or SUV.

You may think that only people who travel extensively need these incredibly useful devices and systems. The truth of the matter is that anyone who spends any time during the average day in a car could seriously benefit by owning an automobile navigation system or device of some sort. The problem often lies in deciding which of these systems would be best suited for your specific personal navigation needs.

Stand-alone Navigation Systems

These types of systems offer the most complete and thorough mapping utilities. You will often find extended or subscription features with these systems that offer vital information about daily weather, traffic, and construction issues in the areas in which you are traveling even going as far as offering alternate routes in order to avoid possible delays along your route. You can purchase systems that either have maps already loaded or that require you to go online in order to download the maps the system will use. These systems are usually great at not only offering detailed driving directions but also information about landmarks you should see along the way. They are the best buy for those that will rely heavily upon them for directions and travel details.

Multipurpose Handheld Navigation Devices

These auto navigation systems are by far the best for busy active families. These devices don’t offer the same turn by turn directions as the stand-alone navigation systems but software can be purchased that will enable them to do so. The primary benefit of these devices is that they can be useful both in and out of the automobile. They are excellent choices for those who spend a great deal of time outdoors. If you get your thrills hiking, biking, horseback riding, mountain climbing, or row boating down the way you will find that these devices offer a great number of options to the average consumer and are an excellent choice for those who want more from their navigation dime than a system that can only be used inside an automobile.

Laptop/Palm Based Systems

Technology improves continuously and often by leaps and bounds. It should come as no surprise that our laptops and Palm Pilots could quite easily be turned into personal navigation devices complete with turn-by-turn directions and many other bells and whistles along the way. Some of the devices that make this happen cost less than $100 which makes this an excellent choice for those who travel extensively with Palms and laptops in tow. In fact, if you already own the Palm or laptop it seems almost a waste of money to invest in more extensive auto navigation systems when you can have all you really need for a minimal investment. Of course, there are those that can be quite costly and the ultimate decision is yours alone. I happen to be the bargain hunter type (which often translates to cheap).

Regardless of which type of auto navigation system you ultimately select I believe you will find that having this type of assistance in your travel offers a certain level of safety and security that you may not have enjoyed previously. Take care and enjoy your travels, I hope you find that things go much more smoothly and confidently with the assistance of your auto navigation system.