GPS Systems

GPS systems are pretty sweet, if they work.  You can basically drive anywhere like a local.  A computer operated voice with a map gives you directions.  I have found, they work better outside of cities but I was game. 

I rented a car at Avis and decided that since I hadn’t been in Boston for years that I’d get the GPS system just in case.  I didn’t have my friendly co-pilot (Fred) to give me directions and although I basically knew where I was going, I hate (that would be in capital letters) getting lost. 

AVIS customers, for an added $10 a day, gets one of the worst GPS systems I have ever seen.  It is called Where 2.  You can’t change anything on it or see the big picture map when you are driving because it won’t let you.  You are driving. How about when your passenger is trying to figure stuff out.  Also, the delayed reaction is a killer.  It had me driving in circles in Boston.  Couldn’t make up its mind on where to send me.  Thank god I had an idea of where I was going.  I told Fred about it that night when he got in.  Wasn’t sure he believed me.  He attempted to use it the next day when we were en route to Maine.  Again, we knew where we were going but it is a nice back up.  Fred almost through the GPS system out the window.  Instead, pulled out his laptop, charged it up in the lighter with one of his many gadgets, stuck in his handy wifi card, got on Google maps while I am driving 70 miles an hour down 93, and tells me the way to go.  How sweet is that? 

I do like the GPS, particularly when you are solo.  But, if AVIS is going to give their customers additional options to make their car rental experience better, find a better GPS system or have some intelligent techies rebuild Where 2.

Comments (Archived):

  1. fred

    i generally love GPS gadgets but that one was messed up for sure!

  2. ellen

    You Should have asked me. Boston and gps systems do not mesh. First of all because of the big dig etc. many gps system maps are not updated. Sometimes, you can’t blame the gps because the detours change hourly here. My gps came with the car and now the car is three yrs old and it gave me the wrong directions to Logan Airport on Saturday. Obviously, I know the way. I live right outside of Boston, but since I haven’t driven alone to the airport lately, I wanted a backup, because there are so many bypasses and new underground connectors. I did not make a mistake. The GPS was clueless about the Ted Williams tunnel and the big dig roads new roads.

  3. Eric Marcoullier

    I’ve generally had good success with Garmins, so I’m surprised you had a problem with yours. There’s a setting that lets you override the lockout so that your co-pilot can make changes while the car is in motion. The thing that I *love* about the higher-end Garmins is that they do text-to-speech for street names. “Left turn on Irving Street” beats “Left turn at next street” every time.

    Just don’t get me started on the GPS / entertainment system in our new Toyota. All of the cool things it does are overshadowed by the awful awful interface.

  4. kit

    Someone once wrote in her blog “I couldn’t agree more with Andy Ostroy’s report on iTards. Definitely worth the read. He comments on this generation which is more interested in the latest gadget than the young men and women fighting in Iraq. There is a serious disconnect between this generation and the world at large. “