Today’s systems are now multimedia systems with navigation capabilities. You’ll also find that modern car navigation systems have point of interest integration, live traffic updates, and are more easily updateable with many of them able to update via Wi-Fi connection or removable SD, or micro SD, cards. Bearing this in mind, here are some of the features you will be looking at when considering a car navigation system.
Ease of Destination Input:
The primary task of a car navigation system is to take you from point A to point B. It therefore becomes logical to assume that one of the most important features in any car navigation system is how easy it is to input destinations. If the system you’re considering makes it difficult to complete this task then you need to reconsider your selection. It’s also worth noting that most modern car navigation systems come with point-of-interest, or POI, programming capabilities. This allows you to find the nearest restaurant, gas station, or tourist attraction and their databases can range from very basic to massive.
Your navigation system should speak directions to your clearly and use both street names and approximate distance as well as let you know which lane you need to be in for your next direction. If you are looking at the directions on the device then the device should use a font type and size that is legible and doesn’t distract you while you’re driving.
Pre-Loaded Map and POI database:
Your car navigation system should come preloaded with a map and POI database that will cover the area you need to navigate through. Not long ago owners of navigation systems had to update their navigation systems with CDs or by downloading updated maps directly from the internet, however today’s devices should come with them preloaded or have a removable SD card that can be updated directly from your computer. This will help ensure that you keep your car navigation system up to date as roads change.
Multiple Routing Options:
Your car navigation system should be capable of providing you with multiple routing options. Some routing options to look for are avoidance of toll roads, the ability to miss heavy traffic jams, and the ability to recalculate your route if you happen to miss a turn.
Optimal Screen Size:
The standard screen size for most car navigation systems is approximately 4.3 inches, but they come in sizes ranging 3 to 7 inches. Some things to keep in mind when looking at screens; larger screens are easier to see but they take up more of your field of vision while driving whereas smaller screens take up less room but may be harder to see.
Some car navigation systems include features like Bluetooth, music players that feed from SD cards, an iPod interface that allows you to control your iPod on the GPS screen, a video player that feeds from a SD card, or Wi-Fi/cellular connectivity that allows you to get data directly from computers and cell phones.