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Through the generousity of an acquaintance recently, I inherited a Car Sat Nav System. Well, it cost me nothing and I thought that having one of these stuck to my car window would give me a bit of Cred and help me find my way home from work should I forget.

I was quite eager to get it going and it was as they say, a bit of a doddle, that is after I’d managed to take it out of one of those annoying sealed plastic wrappers without it springing 14 feet accross the Kitchen Floor. One suction pad and a charger into the Car Lighter, Bob’s your Uncle.
My first problem was that ‘down the Lane’ isn’t on the Sat Nav maps. I pumped in my postcode and it showed some place about three miles away. Actually I didn’t realise this at first and couldn’t work out why the young lady kept on telling me to turn left, turn right, do u-turns, get out the car and buy a Map!

My journey to work was quite interesting as well. The way I go made the thing change it’s directions four times. I’m surprised they haven’t installed “OK, please yourself, I don’t care” on them yet.
All this did make me wonder about a journey I didn’t know.

However, it did navigate me from Ashford to Netley in Southampton using the route I normally take. This worried me even more as the other journey’s I’d made had indicated a route through a busy Canterbury Centre at 0830hrs and to Ashford Town Centre passing the Bank (very worrying as I get palpatations and a nervous twitch whenever I’m within half a mile of the place).

It has some useful benefits though. It shows Hotels, places of Interest and Petrol Stations, albeit not until you can usually see them anyway.
Then there’s the ‘Safety Camera’s’. You spend so much time looking at the thing to see where they are that you become the most unsafe Car on the road.

But apparently I can load photograph’s onto the Sat Nav sim card as well. This is another unique feature guaranteeing your ability not to see the car in front has stopped.

But there is one very positive thing it does and that’s to discard the expert Map Reader you may have travelling with you.
They’re the one’s who know 14 variations of a route of only four miles and will tell you the history of each Street and who lives there on the way.
These are the people we call ‘Sad Nav’s’.

A breed of their own, they are sure to change the “next left” to “Ooops, sorry I meant the last one” and “It’s the third exit off the roundabaout, or the second if you discard the Hotel Entrance”, “Hello, when did they put that one way system in”.

At the end of the day I think your own navigation is probably best, or “Bad Nav” as it’s known in the trade. But I reckon that looking at a screen which is at least somewhere placed in the direction you’re going is better than trying to turn the page of your Road Atlas to ‘Page 14 arrow K’ at 75mph.

Blimey, most of us have only had a PC for ten years or less – where will we be in another ten !

For your info, I have the Binatone Carrera X350, which although at the lower end of the price scale, does do a surprisingly good job.


One Comment on “Sat Nav – Sad Nav”


By Sat Nav Vance . May 10th, 2009 at 10:33 am

I too have recently purchased a Sat Nav, only to find that as you say I have become an unsafe driver looking for all the safety cameras out on our highways, these things make more noises than a battleship going into battle.

Cheers V

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