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Kaleun1961
08-19-2007, 02:34 PM
I've just ordered a portable GPS unit from a local online Canadian specialty store. I could drive into the city to pick it up, but they offer free shipping. Anyhow, it is a TomTom GO910 @ $499 Canadian, which features a built-in hard drive for storing your own music and customized maps. I plan to make use of it in my part time gig as a limo driver. Many a time a customer will throw me a last second change of destination. It will be useful to be able to just access the touch screen [while parked, of course!] instead of fumbling with a map book, looking up the address in the index, then trying to guess where exactly on the street that is and what is the best route to take, etc.

I also like that it can be used as a jukebox, to play music over the car radio via FM signal. I will be able to offer my passengers a choice of music in addition to what they can receive over the passenger compartment's radio/CD player. Many customers forget to bring their own CD's and kind of kick themselves afterwards for not having thought of it. If they enjoy that I am able to offer them their choice of music, in addition to the other services I provide, that may result in extra tips and the unit will pay for itself! Well, that is what I am planning on telling my wife when she see's the VISA bill next month. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

TomTom GO910 (http://www.tomtom.com/products/product.php?ID=268&Category=0&Lid=22)

Kaleun1961
08-19-2007, 02:34 PM
I've just ordered a portable GPS unit from a local online Canadian specialty store. I could drive into the city to pick it up, but they offer free shipping. Anyhow, it is a TomTom GO910 @ $499 Canadian, which features a built-in hard drive for storing your own music and customized maps. I plan to make use of it in my part time gig as a limo driver. Many a time a customer will throw me a last second change of destination. It will be useful to be able to just access the touch screen [while parked, of course!] instead of fumbling with a map book, looking up the address in the index, then trying to guess where exactly on the street that is and what is the best route to take, etc.

I also like that it can be used as a jukebox, to play music over the car radio via FM signal. I will be able to offer my passengers a choice of music in addition to what they can receive over the passenger compartment's radio/CD player. Many customers forget to bring their own CD's and kind of kick themselves afterwards for not having thought of it. If they enjoy that I am able to offer them their choice of music, in addition to the other services I provide, that may result in extra tips and the unit will pay for itself! Well, that is what I am planning on telling my wife when she see's the VISA bill next month. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

TomTom GO910 (http://www.tomtom.com/products/product.php?ID=268&Category=0&Lid=22)

Kaleun1961
09-05-2007, 06:22 PM
After field testing of this unit over the last two weeks or so, I am happy to say that overall I am satisfied with this unit. It's not a perfect score, but still acceptable. A few niggling little things that mean I can't give it 10 out of 10.

First, the little things I find annoying: The unit comes with a docking station/charger. You can plug this into the wall plugs to recharge it and you also use this docking station to hook it to your PC via a USB line. What I find annoying about this is that the jack leads all too easily pop out if you slightly move the docking station or brush against the wires. Fortunately, the jack that you plug into your cigarette lighter in the car is more robust and doesn't seem to fall out of the windshield mount. A little thing, but darned annoying. As well, it seems the gimble in the mount could use some stiffening up; the display sags a bit from where you initially set it, but it doesn't sag all the way. Just enough to notice.

I've also found that it doesn't always pick the most appropriate route given your input parameters for the trip, such as shortest route or fastest route. Around my town I know some backroads that shave minutes off of a trip, but the GPS unit suggests taking some of the main roads, which will land you in rush hour traffic and cost you time. It also seems to want to take you in the opposite direction, albeit I have only seen it do this once. On the return trip from my new job site, it actually tells me take the expressway east, then north and then come back west on a county road, whereas I take the expressway west and up a county road. I thought it was insane, to suggest taking me east, then west along a heavily plugged arterial road. It also seems to lose its place for a 3 kilometre section on our toll highway, the 407, but it recovers once past that section. Something I will have to report to their tech support team.

On the other hand, there are many positive features, which outweigh the above factors and make this unit a "keeper" for me. It is very easy to use, with an intuitive user interface, completely touch screen. The maps can be viewed in 2D or 3D. I find the 3D perspective most appealing and useful. You can customize your user interface in numerous ways, too many to list here, but simply let me say this aspect is well done.

With a 20 GB hard drive, I have uploaded some of my music to the unit and plan to upload a whole pile more music, so I can entertain my limo passengers with a selection of music if they'd rather not listen to the radio. The only bummer is that it did not come with a built-in FM transmitter. I had to order that separately and I had the impression from the adverts that it was included. The next model up from mine seems to have it included, but bleeding edge does have its cost. Still, the new FM transmitter mount means I now have a spare mount. I'll only use the FM mount in the limo; in my personal vehicles I prefer to play my CD's.

Some of the advertised features depend upon a subscription to the TomTom Plus Service, the most crucial of which are not available yet in Canada and/or the US, specifically the live traffic updates. It seems you Europeans are way ahead of us colonials with your roadway infrastructure, with its interactive sensors and such. With its ability to function in many languages and give you current locations of traffic speeding cameras, this would be a vital asset for heavy footed European drivers. I am curious to know if any other members here use a GPS unit and if so, does it provide you with traffic updates and camera locations? I'd love to be able to know if there was traffic on my projected route; the TomTom alerts you to this and offers instant detour suggestions along with delay estimates.

This being my first and only experience with using in-car GPS, I can't give this unit a definitive rating as compared to other units, but for me, I'd rate this on a satisfaction scale as 8/10. It would get 10/10 if they'd fix those few annoying things I mentioned above.

Messervy
09-06-2007, 06:04 AM
I've got one but cannot share any info about how it works.
Reason:
There were two companies here in Slovenia, competing for a job of making a map for BMW.
As ussual they were squabbling for years, so the map is only due to arrive in spring 2008.

I'll test it later this month when I'll be on "North European Tour".

I'll let you know what it does and what not.

Realjambo
09-06-2007, 07:03 AM
I've used Sat Nav for about 3 years and I wouldn't be without it now, especially in central London where you can't just pull over to look at the map.

I agree they do pick some odd routes sometimes, and there have been numerous reports of quaint little villages in the countryside having their foundations shaken on a daily basis as Sat Nav's direct juggernauts through their towns assuming 'shortest distance' option.

There is also a few occasions whereby drivers have driven into, and become stuck in small rivers simply because 'Sat Nav told to go that way'! so some common sense is required too - apparently one husband divorced his wife becasue she did this very thing - with his new Porsche, I remember the photo's in the newspaper.

I like the speed camera alerts (saved me many a time! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif) I know you can have all manner of upgrade downloads for the Tom Tom (I have the Tom Tom One currently) like supermarkets, but I find the standard package including points of interest, airports etc suit me fine. The latest thing of course is 'celebrity voices' like Ozzy Osbourne, Yoda and The Queen shouting out the directions instead of the standard voice. My standard one is quite strict, rarely says please and never thanks me http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Citroen need to get their act together though, it's something to do with how they make their windscreens I'm told but Sat Nav won't work in their Picasso's (MPV's in the UK for those not familiar with the name) so my wife can't use it, unless she fits an external aerial which we don't want to do.

An amusing story, the Dad of a friend of mine got Sat Nav for Xams last year. Being retired, he only really drives to do the shopping and run errands but he INSISTS on using Sat Nav on every trip! He's lived in the same town for many many years so what help Sat Nav is I don't know! He has a Citroen too, so he sticks it on to the passenger window BEHIND his driving seat where he can't of course see the moving map - He relies on the voice commands to get him around! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

I'd never leave home without mine now. Another military invention that us public have ultimately benefitted from. Ok K'61, just a tip, try not to leave the windscreen mount on display when you leave the car, it's asure sign for thieves that there 'might' be a Sat Nav unit in the glove box or under the seat. A policeman told me thieves actively go out looking for the rubber sucker ring mark left on windscreens too such is there appeal.

Kaleun1961
09-06-2007, 10:08 AM
Thanks for the feedback, guys. After I first started this thread and there were no responses I was feeling sort of let down. Jambo, good advice, which I follow after reading that in the manual and on their website. I'll make it a point to keep the windscreen clean, so there will be no tell-tale circles for thieves. On my limo job, I am usually always with the car or able to keep it in direct line of sight. When I have to park it for a while, I dismantle my TomTom and lock it away. I really do hate thieves, almost as much as I hate rapists and child molesters!

I'm fortunate in that my Charger's windshield [we use "windshield" over this side of the pond, but I am conversant in both terms, thanks to my UK wife and relations and BBC Canada] does not obstruct the signal. I can see how it could be a real pain to have to mount an external antenna.

Love the amusing stories. Have heard nothing like them over here. I suspect that GPS units are still relatively rare here, but growing in usage quickly. Our road networks are also rather easier to negotiate, since our countries are relative newcomers and were only opened up and developed almost coincidentally with the automobile. My wife is still amazed at how straight and gridlike are our road networks, in comparison to home, where many roads follow ancient cart tracks and trails. We were fortunate enough to be able to plan and lay out wide roads with cars and trucks in mind, rather than having to adapt roadways to existing paths. This has meant that our lanes are bigger and so are our autos in comparison to UK/Europe. I also suspect we have bigger people too, which accounts for the continuing sales of large automobiles. Luckily, though, K-61 at 6'1" and 225 pounds is rather slim for his height and weight and can easily drive his little Toyota Echo on occasions. I have a few friends who are really big in the front and/or back ends and have to struggle into and out of their cars.

Like your friend's father, I too like to use it even when on familiar roads. I really appreciate the estimated time of arrival and remaining distance features. Last weekend I chauffered a wedding party, the bride and her maids. I could hear the bride discussing with her bridesmaids that they should call the best man when close to the hall, so he could scoot everybody inside so she could arrive unseen. When my TomTom told me we were 5 kms from the hall, with an ETA of five minutes, I told her, "We are 5 kms from the hall, approximate ETA of 5 minutes, would you like to call the best man now?" They thought that was pretty cool and I could hear them discussing: "How does he know exactly how far we are from the hall and how long it is?... he has a GPS up front... wow, that is so cool!"

The only celebrity voice I have on my unit is John Cleese, of Fawlty Towers and Monty Python fame. I love his posh, but snooty accent. I went to the TomTom website to pay to download his voice. I assume it is a European site, as the payment was 9.99 Euros [sorry, don't know how to make the Euro sign yet.] I put through my VISA card and downloaded the voice, then a few days later they sent me an email saying they were declining my order due to VISA refusing to put the payment through, for some undisclosed reason. Funny thing is, though, I was able to get my John Cleese voice. Looks like I got if for free somehow, though I am keeping a close eye on my email account for a "Hey, you owe us!" email from them. I also downloaded a free voice with the enclosed voucher that accompanied my TomTom; the selection was one of three voices, only one of which was in English, so I selected "Mikey" a rather Cockneyish voice that sounds like Robin Leech with his knickers tightly twisted. I have not seen those other voices you mention, but will have to more closely re-examine their website. Perhaps I need to browse the UK site instead of the Canada site?