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Why does the Nuvi keep trying to take me on back roads?

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  • After a long and delightful relationship with a Magellan Roadmate 860, the socket for the power cord broke inside and would no longer function. RIP...

    With that as my baseline for how GPS units should work, I tried a bunch and am still demo-ing two at a time right now. I'm leaning toward the nuvi 1300.

    It has features that I like, such as the snail trail that shows where you've been and that it doesn't tell me to "Stay on the current route" as often as the Magellan. However, one deal killer for the Garmin may end up being it's routing choices. And really, isn't that what a GPS needs to be able to do first and foremost?!

    At the intersection of I291 and I91 in CT, it put me onto a side street instead of staying on the highway at 65mph. It routed me away from the highway in another instance in favor of a thickly settled, retail road with stop lights at regular intervals. Another time, instead of having me do a u-turn, it routed me down a dirt farm road with 10" deep potholes. Before anyone tells me to check my settings, I have all avoidances turned off. So why if "Fastest route" is my only option, would it choose a longer dirt road over a u-turn on pavement.

    Something is VERY wrong in the routing algorithms. Are street lights even considered or does it only look at speed limit? It seems that this unit could benefit from a "Primarily Highways" routing option.

    I just updated to 2010.30 and I've been holding out, hoping that a software change will make all the difference. After reading through most of this thread, I'm concerned that it may not.
  • Marc 301 Points
    From what we can tell it probably will not fix your unit. It does seem that the 7x5 and newer 1xxx units have more of a preponderance for taking you off the highway and onto secondary roads than the older units. However, it still is not clear to us, and probably never will be whether this is a function of just the unit routing algorithm, or a combination the routing algorithm change with newer map information. If you go back into this discussion, someone claims that working with Garmin tech support, maps from early 2009 and earlier solve this problem even on the newer units.
  • From what we can tell it probably will not fix your unit. It does seem that the 7x5 and newer 1xxx units have more of a preponderance for taking you off the highway and onto secondary roads than the older units. However, it still is not clear to us, and probably never will be whether this is a function of just the unit routing algorithm, or a combination the routing algorithm change with newer map information. If you go back into this discussion, someone claims that working with Garmin tech support, maps from early 2009 and earlier solve this problem even on the newer units.

    Can you put older maps on newer units?

    How much older?

    thx

    bob
  • I have the 350 with the original 2009 maps(no updated version) the routes are spot on. Just purchased the 1490T two weeks ago,and with the exact same settings as the 350, the routes are very spotty. The 1490T with the latest up dated maps and firm ware try to take me off the highway pre -maturely . The routing is not as good as the 350 with the 2009 maps. as stated by others on this forum, it could well be the new mapping and making the local streets faster than they should be considering red lights and traffic. I am hoping that Garmin corrects this in future mapping updates. I have written to garmin about this as well as giving them examples from Point A to point B .I have done this on the map errors page which goes directly to Garmin and then to Navatec who supply the mapping for Garmin. I have also spoken to many techs at Garmin who said that they would take it to their .engineers Hopefully they were truthful with me.
    Paul
  • My opinion is that this is due to differences in the GPS unit programing. I have here a 760 with 2010.3 maps, a 760 with 2009, and a 750 with 2009. I can not find any difference in the routes these units pick unless there is a change to the roads on the newer map. All three do everything the same, the good with the bad. I don't think the different map versions have played a factor with the 7x0's preference of roads.
  • Marc 301 Points
    edited December 2009
    My opinion is that this is due to differences in the GPS unit programing. I have here a 760 with 2010.3 maps, a 760 with 2009, and a 750 with 2009. I can not find any difference in the routes these units pick unless there is a change to the roads on the newer map. All three do everything the same, the good with the bad. I don't think the different map versions have played a factor with the 7x0's preference of roads.
    I'm having a lot of trouble understanding what you are saying. If all three are doing the samething how can you say the differences are in the GPS unit programming? If their routing is identical then it appears neither the maps nor the programming make a difference. Or are you saying the routes calculated by all three of these are different than GPSr that came before them?

    Finally we have shown here that a 760 and a 755 with identical maps produced different routes in certain cases, so obviously there are some differences, even if they are minor.
  • SergZak 340 Points
    As Marc mentions and as stated before (and as I have personally experienced), IMO the routing differences seem to likely be caused by by the differences in the routing algorithms used on the xx5 and 1xxx series vs the xx0 series units.
  • Marc 301 Points
    Serg, I am not in complete agreement. The routes on my wifes 265 seem more in line with the older 7x0 and 2x0. I do agree the 7x5 and 1xxx seem to be more prone to taking secondary roads when they are not optimal.
  • SergZak 340 Points
    I agree with your disagreement, Marc. :lol:

    Since nothing's ever been pinpointed or nailed down, all we can do is go by our own personal experiences as they will all likely be different.
  • Marc 301 Points
    Actually, in spite of claims from Garmin support, the routing appear to be uniform within a product line (7x5,7x0,1xxx, etc.) from what I have read in this thread. That is I have not seen any evidence of adaptive routing, only adaptive time estimates. It appears that the difference is among the product lines, whether intentional or not.
  • Marc I was just trying to point out to Paul o that I have 3 7x0 units that have different maps on them, but they still navigate the same, therefore I assume the new maps are not to blame for the different routing since upgrading did not affect me. If the 765 routes differently than my 760 I would not blame the maps, I would suspect the 765(or 1xx0) to be doing something different.
    This supports the theories and tests performed here that some models have different road preferrences programmed into them, resulting in the 'took me down the backroads' complaints.
    I hope I was more clear.
  • Marc 301 Points
    Much more clear, DC, and pretty much in agreement with what others have said too.
  • Marc 301 Points
    I asked on gpspassion, since it is a French site whether they observed this problem in Europe also. Apparently there is a 13 page thread in French called "My GPS prefers small roads" or so they tell me that is how it is translated. One comment was that they believed the routing was much better in North America-until now.
  • I just got off the telephone with a Garmin tech ,we were talking about the 1490T series routing you off the highways prematurely, was told that Garmin was aware of the problem and working on it,he said it was a programing problem and that we should get a firmware up date close to the end of the month to correct it. When I asked if the problem had to be corrected with a mapping update,his response was it defiantly was something with programing and a firmware update should correct the routing. I hope he was correct.Wishing all a happy holiday.
    Paul
  • Just to correct my previous message,it was a software problem with the 1xxxx serious that will be correct with a new firmware update
  • Just to correct my previous message,it was a software problem with the 1xxxx serious that will be correct with a new firmware update
    Only 1xxxxxxx? :(


    bob
  • All the tech said to me when I told him what unit I had was, he was aware that the 1 series had problems,I would imagine that if Garmin is aware that there are problems with the newer units ,hopefully they will rectify them.I just hope he knew what he was talking about.
  • I hope they correct it soon on all units. I returned my 765T to Best Buy & will wait to see if & when they correct it before I buy another Garmin unit. It had great potential, but the routing was very poor at best, especially when trying to rely on it in a large and unfamiliar city.
  • I hope they correct it soon on all units. I returned my 765T to Best Buy & will wait to see if & when they correct it before I buy another Garmin unit. It had great potential, but the routing was very poor at best, especially when trying to rely on it in a large and unfamiliar city.

    Me too. I got a Maggie 1475T. I do like the "mostly freeways" option.


    bob
  • Best Buy this week has the new 1690 on sale for $399.99 (with the cell network service). Also has 15% Bing shopping cashback, allowing you to get a $60 rebate. A review online (gpsinformation.net) said it had great routing.

    Myself living in Wisconsin have been amazed at the stupid routing of recent Garmins when taking a route south through Chicago -- telling me to get off the freeway at US 41. I put in this route on my 1690 and guess what?!?! CORRECT ROUTING!!! MAYBE Garmin in future models (starting with the 1690) will be correcting this.

    Some of the bad comments on the 1690 refer to the amount of ads.. Garmin just released a firmware update to lessen the ad amounts.

    EDIT: Updated software on the unit, updated maps to 2010.3.. now the directions are messed up again. ARGH!
  • Wow

    Did this thread crsah and burn?? :)


    bob
  • alanb 539 Points
    steelgtr, I think it has been hashed over about as much as it can be unless there is a firmware upgrade that addresses the issue or some other information from Garmin about it.
  • I hoped jr's experience w/ updating the 1690 from great back to bad would help shed some light and other 1690 owners could chime in?


    bob
  • Marc 301 Points
    Just a note, updated to 3.90 on my 755t and it still has me getting of at New Rutheford Ave in the Middleton to Hyannis route. So no joy there.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Thanks for checking Mark. I was hoping they had addressed that (no pun intended).
  • The MA route comparison between my Nuvi 780 and the new 1690. 780 has 2010.2 maps and 1690 has 2010.3 maps. How do these compare?

    760. Distance: 93mi, time 1:41.

    5.5mi: Right to US-1 S
    3.3mi: Keep left on Broadway
    13mi: Keep left onto I-93S

    1690T. Distance: 93mi, time 1:43.

    5.5mi: Right to US-1 S
    3.3mi: Keep left on Broadway
    12mi: Take New Rutherford Ave on right towards I-93 N/Somerville
    .04mi: keep right onto New Rutherford Ave towards N. Station/Gov't Center
    .5mi: Turn right onto N Washington St
    .2mi: Keep left onto I-93S/RT-1A N

    I'm not sure if the firmware update on the 1690 changed the routes. On the IL-IN route I put in to check the routing accuracy, sometimes it does come up with the right route, and sometimes it doesn't. I don't know if traffic has to do anything with it (I'm about 50 miles away from the problem spot) or it just is random changes.
  • The MA route comparison between my Nuvi 780 and the new 1690. 780 has 2010.2 maps and 1690 has 2010.3 maps. How do these compare?

    760. Distance: 93mi, time 1:41.

    5.5mi: Right to US-1 S
    3.3mi: Keep left on Broadway
    13mi: Keep left onto I-93S

    1690T. Distance: 93mi, time 1:43.

    5.5mi: Right to US-1 S
    3.3mi: Keep left on Broadway
    12mi: Take New Rutherford Ave on right towards I-93 N/Somerville
    .04mi: keep right onto New Rutherford Ave towards N. Station/Gov't Center
    .5mi: Turn right onto N Washington St
    .2mi: Keep left onto I-93S/RT-1A N

    I'm not sure if the firmware update on the 1690 changed the routes. On the IL-IN route I put in to check the routing accuracy, sometimes it does come up with the right route, and sometimes it doesn't. I don't know if traffic has to do anything with it (I'm about 50 miles away from the problem spot) or it just is random changes.
    Can you flash fw backwards?

    bob


  • Can you flash fw backwards?

    bob
    I don't know if an old firmware for the 1690 can be downloaded, and since I am in the return policy I don't want to risk bricking the unit.
  • This is depressing. I've spent way too much time trying to decide on my very first GPS system, and having narrowed down my search (FINALLY) to include the Nuvi 1350, I now learn that the software and/or maps are not routing properly. It sounds like the older units are much better, so my question is:

    Which older unit would you experts recommend and maybe I can find one on eBay.
  • Lostinthewoods 0 Points
    edited December 2009

    Which older unit would you experts recommend and maybe I can find one on eBay.
    image :D
  • alanb 539 Points
    Susanm, while Lostinthewoods gives the best advice there are a couple of routing considerations for you to think about. First, pick a unit that allows you to pre-plan and save multi-point routes with via's. I don't think the nuvi 1350 you were considering has that feature. Also, some users are giving TomTom units with the IQroutes feature high marks for routing quality.
  • image Lostinthewoods, I think you may be right!

    alanb, thanks for your tip. I'll head back over to look at the TomToms again.
  • Amazon.com still carries the Nuvi 760 and 780 (780's MSN service will be discontinued within a couple of years). If you don't care about traffic, they also have the 260W for $129.99.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Yes, the 760 (and it's siblings the 750/770/780) is certainly one I would look at. IMHO, it's one of the best all-around portable highway navigators ever built.
  • Sounds like the same routing problems in the below story as discussed in this thread, Will Garmin finally address them or make excuses?

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100101/D9CUTBK81.html
    GPS-led travel goes amiss; 3 Ore. parties rescued

    Jan 1, 6:00 AM (ET)

    By TIM FOUGHT


    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - In a holiday hurry, Jeramie Griffin piled his family into the car and asked his new GPS for the quickest way from his home in the Willamette Valley across the Cascade Range.

    It said he could shave 40 minutes off the time of the roundabout route he usually takes to the in-laws' place.

    Following the directions, he and his wife headed east on Christmas Eve and into the mountains, turning off a state highway onto local roads and finally getting stuck in the snow.

    They had no cell phone service and ran short on formula for their 11-month-old daughter. After taking exploratory hikes, trying to dig out and spending the night in their car, the distraught couple filmed a goodbye video.

    Like two other parties of holiday travelers who followed GPS directions smack into Oregon snowbanks, Griffin and family were eventually rescued. But their peril left law enforcement officers and travel advisers perplexed about drivers who occasionally set aside common sense when their GPS systems suggest a shortcut.

    "Did everybody just get these for Christmas?" asked Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger, leader of one rescue effort.

    In Griffin's case, in fact, the GPS device was a Christmas gift, from his parents. He used it for the first time to plan the trip to Central Oregon.

    It's one he'd made many times before, following a route travelers have found reliable since at least the days of the Oregon Trail. But, he said, a shortcut the GPS device suggested was attractive.

    "We were in such a hurry to get over there, we programmed it in the driveway and went ahead," he said.
    Read Full Article
  • Paul o 0 Points
    I have spoken to about 6 to 8 different technical representatives about the issue of poor routing,some of the reps have told me after checking with their help desks that this is the first that they have heard of this problem.When told that the problem is all over the internet on GPS Review,their reply is that the people should all call Garmin and complain.They complain over the WEB but not to them.Other reps .have told me that they are aware of the problem and that the engineers are working on it.One rep has told me that Garmin should have a solution soon, are they full of crap or are they knowledgeable of the problem is anybody's guess.I just wish that Tim or someone with clout,could contact Garmin and maybe get some straight answers if they are aware of the problem or not.Just a suggestion,have everyone call Garmin ,get the reps. name and make them aware that a problem exists.
    Paul
  • aslg 0 Points
    The only way to force Garmin to fix this problem is make potential customers aware of this problem and hurt Garmin sales.

    Do not waste your time calling Support. If you google around you will see people complaining about this problem with Garmin support for 2 years at least. The result? The problem is now worse than in the past.

    Do not keep this problem for you and the readers of gpsreview.

    Post a 1 or 2 stars comment where it matters most: Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Buy.com, Newegg.com, etc.
  • A 255W was my xmas present to myself this year. I mulled over and over which gps to buy but in the end it was the 255. I recently borrowed my brothers magellan 3220 (I think) for a trip that took us all over Idaho and yellowstone. We drove 2000 miles in one week in a rental car in a area of the country we have never been. I was so impressed by his gps I just had to get one. He bought the unit as a refrub for around $60 so the maps aren't that current by todays standards.

    After getting the 255w and testing it out around home, work, etc. It has me scratching my head. For some reason it consistantly wants me to take roads that simply do not exist nor ever did. I've lived in this area my entire life so I'd know if there were abandon roads it may be showing, but they are not. It shows roads in the middle of farm fields and peoples driveways as roads. And actually routes me to take them. And today driving back from my sister in laws on one of the most major roads in Minnesota,(hwy 10). It actually guided me to exit off of the highway and at the top of the exit ramp, take the other exit ramp back down to the highway I was just on and in the same direction I was going. Naturally, I didnt do this because I knew better being only 10 miles from home but what if I wasnt familiar with the surroundings. And after pulling over at a gas station to fill up with gas on the same trip. As I left the station taking the correct route, it starts the whole "recalculating" thing, like I was going the wrong direction. I'm leaving for Hawaii in a month and I'd like to think I have confidence in my system. But the way its acting around home, I now thinking I should return it and keep searching.
  • mmsstar 96 Points
    reaperman
    You might want to check your avoidances to see what you are telling the Nuvi you want to do. Also check to see whether you have seleted "Fastest Time or Shortest Distance" Selectich Shortest Distance can sometimes account for strange routing.
  • alanb 539 Points
    reaperman, while there are plenty of documented routing anomalies in this thread, the routing problems are not usually as chronic and widespread as you have described. Here is what I suggest you try.

    First, do a hard reset on your unit (http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/14579/x/p1/#96421). Then, go through your nuvi setup preferences and make sure you have it set up right. On Tools - System - Usage mode, make sure it is set to Automobile. On Tools - Navigation, set the route preference to Fastest. On avoidance, uncheck anything you don't want to avoid ... specifically, do not have Highways checked.
  • You are right.

    Nobody from Garmin is listening. Once they start seeing their sales fall off then maybe they will do something about their inept GPS systems.

    Before June 2008 the systems worked great. After that infamous update nothing has worked correctly since.

    After the recent news articles about wayward GPS systems I would think Garmin would step up and admit there is a problem and fix it before they lose their once great reputation.

    I get better maps and guidance through my cell phone.
  • One or two strange routings I reported here in December have been fixed on the Web Navteq map.

    They were Alaska highway detours through rest stop pullouts and on to an old section of highway before it was upgraded.

    So someone from this forum or from Garmin has edited the map detail for this significant highway.

    PS.
    At the Navteq Map Reporter site - where you report errors - it seems Navteq won't let me edit road segment house numbers. I'd like to correct the neighbourhood streets I'm familiar with. Any insights from this board on how to get permission to do so as emailing Garmin looks unproductive.
  • alanb 539 Points
    Ok, here is one to try. Route from 302 N. Main St, Middleton, MA (Dunkin Donuts) to the City of Hyannis, MA. The route will take you down route 1 into Boston onto 93 South. It is possible to get from 1S directly to 93 S, but my Nuvi 755T in simulation mode takes me off route 1 onto New Rutheford Ave in Charlestown across a bridge into Boston and onto Washington St. and then onto 93 S. This is with map 2010.30 and avoidances set to no u turn and no dirt roads. I don't see this route selection anywhere else, such as google or mapquest.
    I just rechecked Marc's route on my 755T with 2010.40 maps. It appears that the routing error on this particular route has been corrected by the new map version. On 2010.30 I was getting the error as Marc had originally identified.
  • Joining this thread from the other I started comparing a 1350 and 1450. Bought a 1350T and see the exact same flaky routing.

    example

    A 1350T route from my house (in Milwaukee) to Midway airport, Chicago (90 miles) takes the goofy Hwy 41 route. A route from my house to Toyota park (less than a mile away) takes the interstate the entire way. Simply maddening.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    This is another of those route examples where's there's no clear "best" route. Even a local driver made mention that 41 is faster at some times of the day. Perceived fastest is not always the actual fastest, particularly when only one minute or perhaps two separates two options. FWIW, the occasional routing off, then back on highways isn't just a Navteq or Garmin issue either.

    http://www.tomtomforums.com/general-tomtom-discussion/20678-tomtom-one-oddness-routes.html
  • aslg 0 Points
    This is another of those route examples where's there's no clear "best" route. Even a local driver made mention that 41 is faster at some times of the day. Perceived fastest is not always the actual fastest, particularly when only one minute or perhaps two separates two options. FWIW, the occasional routing off, then back on highways isn't just a Navteq or Garmin issue either.

    http://www.tomtomforums.com/general-tomtom-discussion/20678-tomtom-one-oddness-routes.html
    Interesting.
    Only two people report it and only after the clamor of this thread :lol:
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    Even more odd. . .

    Paying a visit to other gps forums reveals little to no unusual mention of routing issues on the nuvi series, yet several pages of concerns here. :?
  • So consider this one the source of truth then. The issue is real.
  • aslg 0 Points
    Even more odd. . .

    Paying a visit to other gps forums reveals little to no unusual mention of routing issues on the nuvi series, yet several pages of concerns here. :?
    Not really, it is one of the first things you study in a group dynamics class.

    People look around before creating a new discussion group. If they find an existing one with enough "critical mass" they just join it.
    It is like when you are in a room with different groups of people discussing different topics. You look around, listen to a group for few minutes and then move on to another group, until you find one that you are really interested in.
    The same thing happens here, just replace "room" with "internet", "group" with "forum topic" and "look around" with "google search".

    You should be happy that GPS Review has such interesting discussions to attract so many people!
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    That same reasoning also leads to "me too" posts from users that otherwise didn't realize they had any route problems until someone else mentions it.

    And yes, we're very happy to have the most trusted and active gps-centric discussion forum in North America in my humble opinion. Thanks for joining in :D
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