Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?

garmin

Yesterday, partly out of curiosity, I took my mother’s Garmin GPS Navigation tool with me on a trip into the city. You have either heard, or experienced some of the interesting directions these things give.

I have had my share of weird directions. Once it had me drive around the block only to arrive back at my original place, then direct me to the entrance to something (I don’t remember what).  I am not sure why I followed it, but I did.  Maybe it was the authoritative voice tone.  Maybe it was me trying to show faith in something my siblings and I bought for my mother.

There are accounts, true or not, of people driving their cars into rivers because they followed the instructions of the machine even though there was obviously no bridge. I blame the drivers in these cases because they neither updated their maps regularly nor seemed to have any common sense.

As it is, the machine cannot pronounce many of the street names in Ontario. Yonge street is pronounced Yonj.  Living somewhat rural we have roads with names like St. John’s Sideroad–which the machines reads as SDRS.  I wonder what it would do if it had to pronounce Spadina or Strachan? (The pronunciation might surprise you.)

Luckily, besides humorous pronunciation, the machine performed well. As a result, I would call that Yesterday’s Perfect Moment.  It is nice when the machines that we allow to control our lives more and more function well.  It gives us the illusion that we are owning the electronic slave and not the other way around.

If you have a funny GPS/navigator story, I would love to read it.

About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
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1 Response to Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?

  1. As a passionate driver who’s traversed & explored highways, byways and remote backroads of the entire western U.S. & more, I can’t pass up Garmin gab. Garmin GPSs are all I’ve ever owned. Though you don’t mention your mother’s model — and they do vary considerably within the brand — they’ve come a very. long. ways — no pun intended — over the years.

    Like mini-computers with oodles of customizations, inc. voice so you can decide whether it’s a male or female bossing you around. Celebrity voices (i.e. Homer and Marge are also available for a price, depending on model). The key to making the most of a Garmin — or any electronic device, phone, iPad, laptop — is know your device and many customizations.

    One particular option most helpful for me, since I routinely travel into unfamiliar cities and towns, is enabling or disabling the “U-turns allowed” option. You’d be surprised at how much this assists or impedes navigation. On one hand, yes, it reduces those wild forays into the netherlands; on the other, it can also lead into a spinning whirlwind — SO NOT FUN in massive metros of impatient rude aggressive drivers. In that case, better to stick with straight navigation even as it takes you offsides for a bit.

    I could write so much more, expert that I am. In fact, I’ve always relied on a dedicated (Garmin) GPS, never my cell phone, for my travels. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Signed
    a Garmin Girl

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