Years ago, navigation systems were just reserved for high-end luxury vehicles. You could not find them in ordinary units.
Today, these systems are almost ubiquitous. Even those entry-level cars have them already. Moreover, the design and type of these navigational systems further expanded. They typically range from portable units to your smartphone.
So do you need a navigation system for your car?
Interestingly, the answer is not a straightforward yes. Many drivers opt not to have them as a part of preserving their innate navigational instincts. But at the same time, you would really enjoy having these systems, especially if you are driving in an unfamiliar area or terrain.
Meanwhile, you have to realize that these navigational systems are not always accurate. They can miss some details. If you are in an area where the signal is weak or there’s a lot of interference, expect that these navigational systems will suffer as well.
There are various setups for these navigational systems. Each of them has its own pros and cons. Before you decide if you want a navigational system or not, you might want to understand these options first.
Default Navigation Systems
- They are fully integrated. You don’t need to put them inside the vehicle manually. They are already tailored to be “one” with the vehicle. As a result, they don’t become an eyesore. Moreover, they have a better interface and provide exceptional ergonomics to their users.
- They often capture a better GPS signal. Most of these factory navigational systems are powered by satellites. Hence, they always get a signal wherever you go, even in the most remote places. They are extremely handy for users who are always traveling off-the-grid.
- Another useful aspect of these built-in navigation systems is their warranty coverage. It is integrated into the system of the car, which, in turn, assures you that it is included in the bumper-to-bumper warranty. If there’s an issue in the system, you can just take it to the dealership for a free repair or replacement.
- The price of these built-in navigation systems is pretty scattered. At some point, their pricing is almost irrational. For instance, a la carte navigation system is roughly $500 in brand-new cars. However, manufacturers of cars often bundle them with other accessories and label them as “premium” or “tech package,” and they will cost you $4,000 at most.
Smartphone Navigation Systems
- You got one already. Many contend that these smartphones are a cheaper alternative to the expensive factory navigation system. They note that our phones have built-in maps already, and their accuracy is almost the same as those integrated into cars. Of course, you can’t just dismiss this claim. After all, you can’t underestimate the quality of mapping that Google and Apple provide. But then again, there are limitations, and that’s something that you have to understand.
- These mobile applications also excel in traffic data, and that’s something useful. Keep in mind that in most cities, the fastest way to get to your destination is not always taking the shortest route. Instead, it is finding the route with the most minimal traffic. The traffic data, which is generated by users, will allow you to find these convenient paths. Waze is one of the mobile applications that are heavily reliant on traffic data.
- Always up-to-date. You can also guarantee that the maps of these smartphone navigational systems are accurate and updated. They do not cause confusion to their users.
- Distraction is one of the issues that riddle these smartphone applications. One way or another, you have to install a mount so that you can place your mobile device somewhere that you can easily access it. Otherwise, it will annoy you. Browsing and scrolling these phones are also not easy tasks, especially if you are driving.
- The reception of these smartphones is not always stable. Unlike the built-in navigation systems in the car, these smartphones rely on cellular data. They are far weaker and vulnerable than satellite signals. In some places, these devices will not become functional. Google and Apple allow offline use. However, you need to prepare them beforehand. Moreover, they will need you to allocate a significant amount of space on your phone so that you can save the maps.
- The battery life of these smartphones is limited, as well. Expect that they will not last for a day, especially if you are going to run multiple operations. Mobile applications can be taxing to the charge of your phone.