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

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  • If you took two or three peoples negative rants from this thread, it would probably reduce by a third, and then if you took the corrective comments you would loose another sixth and if you took the responses just to discuss away you would loose another third and you would be left with some intelligent assistance in setting up your Garmin and realizing it is not a perfect computer. Not perfect because we expect today something from tomorrow but is what yesterdays technology has created.

    I think I learned little in this discussion except:
    1. a few people can negatively drive a conversation for a long time.
    2. a lot of people get sucked in
    3 there are a few very level headed people that really try to help.
    4.very little of the discussion is about the newest models
    5. very little discusses the vintage of map or firmware
    6. most is emotionally biased presentation of maybe a somewhat real problem that the writer would rather complain about instead than fix.
    7. no people that have complained have gone and bought something better and come back and extolled not having a problem

    8. GPS is a tool trying to assist you, not replace you

    I want to thank the few level heads that keep putting up with this and still assist in a kind and helpful manner. You know who you are. And one of the best is from not far from where I am.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Very good analysis of this thread, I agree completely, but suspect a few others may not. :wink: In the end, your point number 8 really sums it all up. Nevertheless, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't expect expect better maps and more intelligent software as time passes.

    Jon, you might be interested in my Map of New Jersey, it's free. It won't fix any of the Nuvi's routing anomalies, but if you enable it at the same time as City Navigator you will at least have something more interesting to look at on the screen. :)

    http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/294/

    image

  • 7. no people that have complained have gone and bought something better and come back and extolled not having a problem.
    I do take exception to the point you made above. I had a Garmin Nuvi 765T, which was my fourth Garmin. I was a loyal Garmin fan until this device routinely took me off of the Interstate onto slower surface roads. Many times it would put me back onto the the same Interstate later. I contacted Garmin many times and posted about it in this thread. Because of the issues I had with this unit, I did buy something better - My first TomTom. I have now purchased several TomTom units and have never had the same experience with the aversion to highways that my Garmin had. I also posted the results of my TomTom experience in this thread. I do not post here often, but I do follow this particular thread for curiosity's sake.
  • Agree with jondough.

    I've posted several examples of my Garmin taking me off an interstate, driving me though side streets and then returning me back to the interstate. I gave a specific example of the Garmin taking me in the opposite direction of a clearly marked road, had me turn around 3.5 miles later and return me to the starting point where it proceeded to take me in the right direction. As I noted in that message, I allowed the Garmin to do this out of curiosity because I knew the correct route. I've also pointed out that on my road trips I turn my Garmin on when my wife is driving just for kicks. My Tom Tom, which I bought to replace the Garmin (which was the the 4th Garmin model I've owned) never has led me astray.

    Like watching a train wreck, I can't help coming back to this thread to see the same complaints about the latest models and the same fan boys who feel being driven 20-40 minutes out of your way is OK "as long as the unit eventually gets you to where you wanted to go".
  • It's obvious that the longevity of this thread shows that it represents a genuine issue with the routing on Garmin units.

    I'm not somebody who has nothing good to say about Garmin, I can't tell you how much I prefer their interface and hardware over Tomtom's.

    I drive for a living in London and got fed up with the routing problems highlighted in this thread. It would repeatedly try to route me off of a motorway because of a minor delay ahead. At first I would trust it, only to regret the decision and wish that I'd stayed on. When I over-ruled it it was inevitably the correct decision.

    Whilst driving longer routes I was happy with it, it's on the congested, city routes that the routing weaknesses reveal themselves. But these are the exact conditions in which I want my Satnav to deliver.

    The solution that I apply today is that I use the Tomtom apllication with my Iphone. That way I get the advantage of the Tomtom IQ routing and HD traffic whilst avoiding the issues often associated with Tomtom's hardware. Of course I miss the larger screen of a standalone unit but this setup provides me with routes that I can depend upon to a much greater degree than the routes my Garmin Nuvi 1695 used to deliver.

    Garmin dropped the ball with their and traffic information and routing technology whilst Tomtom introduced IQ routing and HD traffic. It's a shame because hardware wise I love Garmin products but when it comes to routing I can trust in demanding conditions my Tomtom Iphone application delivers and makes any sacrifices over my old Garmin 1695 worthwhile.

    This thread isn't just people moaning because that's what people do. Garmin could learn a lot by paying attention to the posts here. Most of their consumer feedback probably comes from people who just chalk off any problems as being generic to all Satnav solutions. The members of this type of forum are much more likely to be able to pinpoint and highlight authentic issues that could lose Satnav producers sales.
  • kenp 92 Points
    It would repeatedly try to route me off of a motorway because of a minor delay ahead.
    Did you have traffic avoidances enabled?

    I learned pretty quickly to not do that. Traffic conditions are so transient that even if the data were 100% accurate you can wind up with a route based on something that does not exist any more. Route calculation becomes less deterministic than usual.

    Does your Tomtom setup automatically route you around traffic? Or are you in the loop, deciding for yourself whether to believe a particular alert?

    Ken
  • kenp, thank you for your reply. Believe me, I'm the type of guy who experiments and I know the issue isn't down to settings, firmware etc. I tried everything before I sold my 1695, which I'd bought to replace my 1690 because of the 'traffic trends' data and other improvements that sounded great but never added up to much in the real world.

    There is a genuine routing disadvantage on Garmin's compared to units using Tomtom's IQ routing and HD traffic information. Most people wouldn't really notice unless they spend all day driving through one of the worlds major and congested cities, that's when the limitations become obvious.

    Slicerwizard's post on this thread from 5th December 2011 is pretty much on the ball in describing the nature of the problem. If only Garmin would take notice of that post

    I'm happy now using the Tomtom routing and traffic via their Iphone application. It's a shame that Garmin didn't respond quickly or effectively enough to Tomtom's IQ routing and HD traffic but that's the way it is.

    I use their handheld units for hiking and love them. I also love the build quality of their motoring units but they are behind Tomtom when it comes to the actual routing.
  • kenp 92 Points
    Most of Slicerwizard's post had to do with speed limits in Canada. I didn't realize that the Canadian maps now have that. It was not too long ago that a topic here was the lack of that feature. From what I've seen, speed limit data in the US is very accurate, just falling down in the length of time it takes changes to get into the maps. I look forward to Canadian speed limit data being accurate maybe five years from now. ;)

    Tomtom HD traffic looks interesting. I take it Tomtom manages the communication between units themselves? TMC traffic is supposed to have that kind of data from Inrix's "dust network", but it gets amalgamated with conventional data and faces whatever delays there are in distributing it via RDS.

    Most of the routing oddities I've encountered have been very explainable by map issues and/or avoidances. My 255W recently led me to a McDonald's via a grand tour of a residential area, rather than just the main road. The reason was to avoid a U-turn, which I did have set. The annoying part of that is a U-turn was not necessary, and I had reported that to Navteq two years ago.

    Ken
  • I think that his post wasn't about speed limits but more about what speeds the routing algorithm actually believes you will be travelling while on any particular road. In reality there isn't much chance of you averaging the maximum speed for any road because of obstacles like traffic lights or roundabouts. On motorways the speeds the algorithm expects you to travel are more likely to be accurate because there are none or at least less of these obstacles.

    His point, as I took it was that the Garmin routing algorithm, if set for the fastest route, will send you off of A roads, or Motorways/Freeways if it calculates that another road will get you there faster. Of course, if it over-estimates your average speed on the smaller roads then it might have been better to leave you on the motorway.

    For me, this is how it often panned out in real life ... too often really, it would over-estimate average travelling speeds on the non motorway roads. My experience has been that the Tomtom routing algorithm comes up with better routing the vast majority of times because the IQ routing algorithm has more accurate road speed data to work with.

    On the Iphone, the HD Traffic data is delivered regularly and accurately via the telephone cell network and has proved to me , in the UK to be more accurate than the Traffic Master data that was delivered to my Nuvi units.

    When it comes to stand alone units I much prefer the looks and build quality of the Garmin units, it's just for me, making a living driving around London the Garmin routing just isn't as good as Tomtoms in testing situations.

    As regards the traffic data, I can only speak for the UK but I believe the problem with the estimated travel speeds on the maps also causes problems with the Garmin routing algorithm in the US as well. It's such a shame because Garmin win hands down on so many other fronts.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    I'd be surprised if any GPS system would cope with the problems in a congested, almost grid locked city like London. I use Garmin everywhere BUT London and it works extremely well, including in various countries in mainland Europe :wink:
  • As I said in an earlier post, it's when you you use the Garmin's in congested places like London that the weaknesses show. Unfortunately that's where I have to drive for a living (not that the Tomtom routing is bad out of London) and I have really noticed how much better it's suggested routes are, they aren't always perfect but they are almost invariably better than Garmin's suggested routes (I did many side by side comparisons).

    I used to curse when my Garmin would try to route me down the A5 into London from the Harrow area which it invariably did when there was traffic on the A40 or A41. The Tomtom knows that this route will be slow. Anyway, made my point, I really hope that Garmin can catch up with their routing and traffic information technology.
  • kenp 92 Points
    You're giving me an urge to get my old Delphi out and run it side by side with the Garmin on my next trip. I have a general feeling of its routing and traffic processing being more robust than the Garmin's...but I never did a proper comparison. All that would stop me is a) the utter geekiness of two units hanging on the windshield, and b) revival of post traumatic stress from the Delphi's user interface.

    Ken
  • Zemartelo 207 Points
    I thought this was curious that I thought I should share this weird behavior of my 2555.
    I have the unit set to for the fastest route.

    image

    image

    The road "1" is a highway and the second picture is to show that the final destination is not on the highway.
    Why does the unit send the route on that big loop when just going to the left is a much shorter distance and alot faster too?
    It refuses to route thru drurys cove/ratter corner section which is a much faster drive.
    Also today I was driving from lower millstream in direction to Apohaqui and then selected for it to go to the starting point on the first picture and the nuvi calculated it to go around the big loop.
    So what is the problem?
    The main culprit is Traffictrends. If I disable it then the unit routes properly.
    But this is rural area, and I doubt that theres any kind of traffic information for this area and the unit acts like its always rush hour as it doesnt matter what time I create a route it it always does it this way.

    So either theres faulty info on the traffictrends file or theres a bug with the nuvi. So whos to blame?

    The nuvi.

    I have a 2450 with the same map and the same traffictrends file and it routes properly so theres a bug(s) in it.
    I have reported it to Garmin so hopefully they will fix this.
    Anyway I thought I should report my experience.
  • The Dezl 560 with software revision V2.50 has the same problems on European roads.

    I drive a 13 ton 4x4 truck and primarily use it to avoid having to backtrack due to weight / height restrictions. Used it in Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Poland.

    Map quality is lower in Poland and Portugal simply because height / weight restrictions haven't been entered / updated in the NAVTEQ maps.

    Occasionally the Dezl guides me on the sliproad / highway exit - then to return to the same highway again.

    Also in cities it occasionally takes a shortcut away from the main route - taking a narrow residential street.

    So far the frustration was just time and fuel. Knowing this routing phenomena I always review the destination area, sometimes with Google Earth from Mapsource.

    V2.7 is just out - the release notes didn't mention a fix. Would be surprised if its fixed.

    Cheers!
  • :evil: :evil: :evil:

    Seriously, I'm so glad to find this thread. I thought I was the only one and going insane. I've contacted Garmin over this exact issue.

    I currently live and work in the New York metro area. Once a week or so I have to make deliveries for my business. It runs me from Jersey, to Staten Island, to Long Island to pretty much all over this area. Absolutely every problem that has been written here, I've experienced. I've also tried EVERY possible solution. I even went as far as to set my "eco route" telling the GPS my car only got 2 MPG in the city, thinking this would keep me off back roads. NOPE!! It still takes me through the heart of the city and keeps me off highways...

    At this point, I've had the GPS for a couple of months, so there is no returning it to Best Buy. Hopefully Garmin will rectify this situation... ironically enough, they just wrote me ANOTHER reply as I was writing this...

    "If the unit is taking a different route but is still getting you to the final location, than it is doing its job."

    Really? Seriously? I'm about to call the BBB on these a$$holes.
  • class3 52 Points
    I don't know why Garmin doesn't just add a "prefer highways" options to the route calculations. Seems like this would solve a lot of people's problems. The unit knows which roads are highways since it has an avoidance for them. Why not just have an algorithm to prefer them (as the primary criteria) and then secondary and tertiary criteria options like distance or fastest time?
  • cuc tu 91 Points
    My 2460 has been routing me through downtown rather than staying on the freeway to the next connector. I had traffic trends disabled, but not mytrends.

    What should I be looking for to set it up for more preferred routing?
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    According to Garmin, you need to be navigating to a favorite in order to "program" myTrends. So if you created a favorite called "work" and went there every day, then it would learn the way you prefer to go.

    Or at least, that's what Garmin claims. I am skeptical based on my own experience, and I disabled myTrends after a couple weeks because I didn't like the unit "suggesting" where I should go.
  • steveo42 0 Points
    :evil: :evil: :evil:

    Seriously, I'm so glad to find this thread. I thought I was the only one and going insane. I've contacted Garmin over this exact issue.

    I currently live and work in the New York metro area. Once a week or so I have to make deliveries for my business. It runs me from Jersey, to Staten Island, to Long Island to pretty much all over this area. Absolutely every problem that has been written here, I've experienced. I've also tried EVERY possible solution. I even went as far as to set my "eco route" telling the GPS my car only got 2 MPG in the city, thinking this would keep me off back roads. NOPE!! It still takes me through the heart of the city and keeps me off highways...

    At this point, I've had the GPS for a couple of months, so there is no returning it to Best Buy. Hopefully Garmin will rectify this situation... ironically enough, they just wrote me ANOTHER reply as I was writing this...

    "If the unit is taking a different route but is still getting you to the final location, than it is doing its job."

    Really? Seriously? I'm about to call the BBB on these a$$holes.
    I live on Long Island and regularly go to S.I, NJ, NYC and the boroughs and Garmin is the absolute worst. For example, from Bay Ridge Brooklyn heading to Eastern Long Island, Garmin will take me down Linden Blvd and 100 traffic lights not to mention bumper to bumper traffic. The way to go is either the BQE LIE or the Belt Southern State.

    Garmin ALWAYS tries to route me through Manhattan when coming from places in north Jersey. WRONG.......
    Going cross town in Manhattan at 4pm is a nightmare. You could walk faster.

    Then there is the off the freeway back on the freeway "feature" that Garmin seems to have patented. That's a beaut, especially in Texas and Maryland where it has you running the service road, back on the highway, back on the service road etc. Not only confusing but dangerous with all those merges.

    I have an older TomTom 125 that doesn't even speak street names and it's routing is far superior.

    And yes I have Traffic trends and all that stuff turned off.
    I've tried every combination and it doesn't seem to matter.
    This thing has a mind of it's own.

    I unloaded mine on ebay and now use my ancient TomTom and my Smart phone instead.
    Garmin does a lot of things for the dollar, but when basic routing sucks it becomes a brick for me.
  • cuc tu 91 Points
    Well, there does still seem something "wrong" because when I ignored the route through downtown and kept on the highway, my time AND distance recalculated shorter by about 8-10 miles and minutes on an ~60 mile destination. It would have actually have taken longer than originally predicted if I had gone downtown because of the congestion at any time of day... :?
  • I recently switched from a Garmin 2730 that died that I absolutely loved to a Kenwood head unit with nav. The Garmin app on the Kenwood has the same odd route choice peculiarities that have been posted here: Exiting the highway too early only to have you going through a bunch of lights. Definitely not a "faster time" as selected by me for the route choice.

    I may have solved the dilemma: I have elected to choose the "less fuel" route choice and tweaked the mileage and fuel cost settings and recalculated the route each time until it chose routes that matched what I thought were rational.

    My settings:
    unleaded fuel
    3mpg city
    13mpg highway
    $5 per gallon

    Small changes in the highway mpg setting changed the route selection.
    YMMV
    I'll keep you posted.

    Lee
  • My 2 cents too. I swear some of the maps used were made years ago when roads might have been dirt but now are opened up and paved. Or of course there wasn't any developement so it would have been faster,easier.
    I know alot of the Topo maps are made from USGS maps that are very old and as you know roads,trails,etc are very different today.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    OK, I'm reluctant to bump this old thread but don't want to start a new one either. For the past month I've been spending a lot of time in the NYC area and generally speaking, my Nuvi 3550 has done a great job of getting me around town.

    But this is just a bizarre routing anomally. I was taking i-278 East to LaGuardia Airport and the route insisted on taking me off the highway. Naturally I just ignored it. All my avoidances were normal. TrafficTrends and MyTrends were disabled. The map is CN 2013.10, which was pre-installed when I bought the 3550 last month. I tried stopping the route and restarting it at various times along the way and it made no difference.

    I have driven this route frequently using a Nuvi 3790 and Montana 600 that have older map versions and never saw anything like this before.

    image
  • Reminds me of a route that my old iQue wanted to take me on. My trip was from my home around the Boston MA area, to Montreal, Quebec and then northwest along the 117 for another few hundred miles to a canoe / nature reserve. After crossing the US Canadian border and before reaching Montreal, the iQue wanted to route me on a highway Northeast, up past Quebec City where it wanted me to then take a u-turn and then drive back to the exact point where it took me on this detour and then continue on my way to the nature reserve. Obviously I didn't do that but it wanted to add another 8 hours to my drive for no reason. No matter how many ways I tried to set the vias to force the route, it would always demand that detour to Quebec City.
  • Zemartelo 207 Points
    But this is just a bizarre routing anomally. I was taking i-278 East to LaGuardia Airport and the route insisted on taking me off the highway. Naturally I just ignored it. All my avoidances were normal. TrafficTrends and MyTrends were disabled. The map is CN 2013.10, which was pre-installed when I bought the 3550 last month. I tried stopping the route and restarting it at various times along the way and it made no difference.
    Maybe the reason is your map version 2013.10. Try to install a newer version and see if it happens again.
    HAve you tried to program the route in reverse to see if the Nuvi will make you exit in the same spots?

    I think based on your screenshot either the HWY is cut and the nuvi thinks its a dead end or the speed limit on those portions is wrong and that makes the Nuvi route around because it thinks it would be faster.

    Speaking if which try to change the route calculation from FASTEST to SHORTER or FUEL and see if you get the same result.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Thanks, but honestly, I wasn't looking for "suggestions" - I know I can update the map and so forth. I just thought this was an example worthy of this thread. I had been skeptical about the goofy routing that others have written about in the past, but now I have seen an example myself.

    As I said, older versions of the map didn't have this problem. I would agree, something is wrong with the map data to cause this.
  • popej 57 Points
    Could you check speed limits at bypassed main road and these detours? I suspect that there could be map error, like missing or wrong limits on secondary roads.
  • runner 0 Points
    Nuvi 3790
    2014.10 map

    Heading east on I-278 to Laguardia, no quirky exits:

    image
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Thanks. No doubt it's just a quirk with 2013.10. Will have to do a map update one of these days. That is never fun with my slow internet connection though. :wink:
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