In-car GPS

Why Purchase an In-Car GPS System?

Most of us these days have heard about in-car GPS systems, but what exactly is it and why should we need one?  Surprisingly, this piece of technology is not as new as you might think, and holds many benefits, especially with today’s increasingly rushed schedules, not to mention the ever more crowded roads.  Let’s look at what GPS actually is, and why we should install it in our car.
GPS actually stands for Global Positioning System.  It sends out a signal to a satellite orbiting the Earth, essentially asking where on the planet the system is, and the satellite sends a signal back, essentially saying “You are here”.  Anyone who has ever had to take a long journey and/or track down an unknown destination will instantly have recognised the benefits of in-car GPS.  In days gone by, you could spend hours with an enormous fold-out map, pinpointing your destination and working out how to get there.  You then needed to either memorise the directions or get yourself a co-pilot to come along with you and either read the directions or the map as you went along – sometimes both.  The hapless co-pilot, often an unfortunate spouse, was then subject to a barrage of questions about where are we now, is that anywhere near where we are supposed to be, and are you sure you’re holding that thing the right way up?
Nowadays, you simply enter the address of the destination you are aiming at into your in-car GPS system, and you will have a handy little map with an arrow on it telling you where you are and where you need to go next.  In many cases, you will also have a recorded voice literally telling you where to go next at every turn.

Never Get Lost Again with in-car GPS

With an in-car GPS system you will never again get lost.  This is great if you use your car for work, not so good if you need a cast iron excuse to arrive three hours late to lunch at your mother-in-law’s house.  The GPS system does not lie.
The other huge benefit of in-car GPS is that not only will you not get lost but you will also not be late.  The GPS system can plan your route and tell you exactly how long it will take you to get to your destination.  Of course, in practice these things are flexible, but the GPS assumes that you will stick to the speed limit the entire journey, which also doesn’t happen in most cases.  At the very least, your GPS will have given you a ball-park time of arrival, which means you know what time you should start out on your trip in order to get where you want to go by a particular time.

Convenient, Instant Directions from GPS

The benefits of in-car GPS versus a handheld unit, such as having it on a cell phone are probably obvious.  The in-car system is installed in the dash of your car where you do have to look away from the road to see the map, but you also have an automated voice constantly giving you directions.  Handheld units must be held by someone or put somewhere and do not usually come with a voice, which means you have to look away from the road more frequently, increasing the chances of your having an accident.
When considering whether or not you want to get an in-car GPS system installed in your vehicle, you should think about what price you are willing to pay, and what kind of system you want.  As mentioned above, some GPS systems talk to you and tell you exactly when to turn off and where – however, whereas for some people this is a great help as it means you don’t have to look down at the map, others will find it unbearably annoying and will at least want to be able to turn the helpful robot lady off.

Choose the Best GPS System for Your Car

When you get to the point where you really can’t handle the maps and the scribbled directions anymore, get online or head for a store and start looking at products and prices.  Bear in mind the following when making your choice:

  • A system that gives you voice instructions is probably the best idea, but you might want to find out whether or not you can turn the voice off before you buy.
  • Think quality – you only want to have to buy and install this once, and you don’t want it to collapse halfway through a long journey.  Buy the best you can afford
  • Not all in-car GPS systems offer real time tracking, where the unit is constantly updated on your position – make sure you get a system which does offer this

In the end you want a system which you find easy and simple to use.  Otherwise you’ll never use it and all the money you spent on it will have been wasted.  This piece of technology can be a godsend in those dark empty road in the middle of nowhere situations, but make sure that you don’t end up with an in-car GPS system that fills you with fear just at the thought of switching it on.