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Got my DASH!

Upacreek 0 Points
I received my DASH on Saturday and took it for a spin today (Sunday).

Following are my thoughts on the DASH after just one day.

Taking it out of the box:

It ain't that big. Yes, bigger than the skinny pocketable GPSs, but not unreasonably huge by any stretch. Guess those of us with older Garmins have an advantage. We're use to bigger.

It does take a few moments to come up when doing a cold start. It was easy to set up. No problems signing up on my.dash.net. No problems connecting to my secure wifi network. No problems connecting it to the windshield (nice mount). No problems sending addresses, saved searches to the device. First satellite acquisition took literally like two minutes if that long.

General feel:

The display looks good. I didn't have to adjust brightness. The screen is responsive. No problem having to hit things multiple times (I did once or twice, but that could have been me). In fact, I was surprised that it takes a fairly light touch. Nothing confusing about navigating the menus, although I can't say I hit them all, and I don't know what options I may not have found.

My first route:

I did a Send2Car of the address of our local library. A few minutes later I headed down to the car, started it up and shortly the address was there. This is where things got flaky, but the underlying cause may be a map data issue. We live in a development that has one main gated entrance off of Route 1. There is a second unused and closed entrance (only for emergencies) and our home is closer to this second entrance. The DASH wanted to use that emergency entrance and continued to insist (it recalculated numerous times) I go back to it even almost up to the point I was leaving the community through the main entrance and clearly would have made no sense at that point to go back. At that point I connected up with the original route outside our community and the rest of the route to the library was right on. I don't think the DASH could have gotten me out of the development on its own. Someone unfamiliar with our development would have had a time. I will say though that this may be a somewhat unusual situation, and my Garmin initially had trouble with my development but in a different way, but not as bad. I think it was resolved with subsequent map updates and/or software updates.

At the library it successfully connected to their wifi network, so that was good to know.

While there I had it calculate a route to a Costco and it found a route that I would expect (for this case and for the initial route to get to the library there was only one route option given in each case). It took me down I95. There was a solid green line to indicate normal traffic flow in both directions and at least on my side it was. Since it is my understanding that the solid line indicates data from another DASH driver I did wonder whether that was really the case, and how long ago did that driver or drivers pass this way (I'll bring this up again later). I'm not sure how long the data from other drivers remains current. In any event, it took me right to the Costco, although since the Costco is part of a mall and a little off the road it had a little difficulty figuring out where I should turn, but again, I've had my Garmin do some "fancy" routing at times as well, including routing around the block to get me headed in the right direction. I believe it has to do with it being on a divided highway, so in effect you would have to cross the median at the point it places the store at. Or something like that.

Leaving Costco I had it calculate a route to my home. Back to I95 (as I would expect although it is not the only route). It calculated two route options this time. As before I95 was showing soild green traffic, which again I questioned, wondering whether someone had actually just traveled that stretch. However, as I was about to get on the highway I saw that it was nearly stopped (traffic still showing solid green). I was able to change my mind and avoid the highway. I then speculated on why it would show a solid green line when traffic was clearly not moving. Again, was there really someone on the highway sending live data? I don't know. We traveled up one exit and tried the highway again, still showing solid green, but this time it was moving just fine, so it appears the stoppage was either very brief or something had just occured and the info had not trickled down to the DASH yet. I next wondered how it was going to deal with the route back into and through our development. Sure enough, as we exited I95 I could see that it was going to try and take me to the closed emergency entrance, driving right by the main entrance. However, we turned into a shopping center adjacent to our main entrance and the Dash suddenly recalculated the correct route into our development all the way to our house. Strange, but at least better than the trip out. In fact, pretty much right on. This is a case where if I could block/avoid a road it would probably fix that problem. Again, my Garmin has had problems with our development as well.

All in all, a good experience so far.

The connectivity is great as everyone has said.

Other than the problems with our development I did not see any real problems with calculating a route. It also seem to recalculate quickly and I don't recall seeing any bizarre routes after recalculating.

I'm not sure about powering on/off. It seems that most of time it is not completely shutdown. I say that because it doesn't go through the same more lengthy powerup process as when turned on for the first time. So, I'm not sure if I understand that fully. Need to get the complete docs.

The jury is still out on the traffic. I did wonder whether the info was really coming from another DASH driver (partly because I never saw it change from solid green and I thought that data was current for only a short time, maybe there are alot more DASH drivers than I think).

It does seem to tell me that I've reached my destination just a little before I actually arrive, but not bad, and probably not much different than other devices. Again, I'm used to Garmin and NavTeq data, so maybe that accounts for the difference.

I thought the voice prompts were good. Most things were pronounced reasonably well and I had no trouble understanding.

That was day 1. That's all I can think of right now.

Comments

  • Tim 1271 Points
    Solid colored traffic lines indicate data from the Dash driver network (DDN). This doesn't mean that there was a driver a few minutes ago that went down the road-- although it could mean that.

    There are two types of data that encompass the DDN. First is live data which would happen if someone else with a Dash drove that road segment in the last 15 or 30 minutes. (I don't know the exact time limit.)

    The other type of data is the historical data. They divide every road segment into 15 minute slots for each day of the week. So there are about 672 "slots" for each road segment (4/hr * 24hr/day * 7 days/week). They store the speeds received for those road segments and use them for travel estimates.

    So-- either someone was driving ahead of you on that road by a few minutes, OR someone else at some point had driven that road segment on the same day of week and the same 15 minute window.
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    Thanks Tim for the clarification. I did think you got a solid line only when it is current data coming from a DASH driver just ahead of you on the road. And not that it might be from someone who drove that stretch last Sunday afternoon at the same time. I thought you would see a dashed line. I assume then that if I had in fact gotten on the highway that someone coming behind me might have seen solid yellow or red because my device would be sending that info back to the network.
  • Tim 1271 Points
    The way the Dash people have (repeatedly) described it to me is like this:

    Solid = Their own data.. historical or live.

    Dashed = Third party data... historical or live.
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    Tim, I understand what you're saying. I'm just not sure that what I've read said the same thing, therefore my confusion. It is their reference to solid lines and "live traffic data" that throws me.
  • Kayrac 0 Points
    i don't believe that is right tim, i've done extensive reading on the dash boards, and what i've picked up from it is

    dashed lines = historical traffic data/3rd party data, or UNTRUSTED sensor data

    solid lines = Dash driver recently or TRUSTED sensor data

    what i mean by the sensor data, is what dash does is use 3rd party for traffic data, normally this would be a DASHED line, as it is 3rd party

    BUT what i've read is that the dash learns what sensors to 'trust' meaning when the sensors say 'green', and a dash driver drives along those sensors moving at a 'green' pace, eventually the dash network will consider those sensors 'trusted' data, because they both match up



    i'm almost willing to bet money thats how it works, because route 101 by where i live and have drove on a bit is now a solid green line in many of the areas i drive, and i guarentee noone drives on 101 at the hrs i do usually :P

    i could be wrong tim, but i'm pretty sure i'm right





    EDIT!!!

    in addition historical data is NEVER shown as solid, that i can guarentee, historical data all over the place around me :)
  • Tim 1271 Points
    I'm just relaying what Dash people have told me directly. However I could be wrong, they could have been mistaken, they could have changed things, or things might have been clarified. Here is what they say now.
    image
    If the lines are solid, they represent live traffic derived from the Dash Driver Network—the most timely and accurate source available. If they are dashed, the traffic data is either 3rd party sensor or historical data
    You could interpret that sentence either way... that the "3rd party" applies to both sensor and historical, or that "3rd party" only applies to sensor.. it is ambiguous.
    Solid lines show traffic conditions based on live traffic data, primarily from the Dash Driver Network. The dashed lines indicate road sensor data on highways and historical traffic on local streets.
    That quote seems to suggest there might be a difference in what they draw not only from the DDN versus 3rd party, and not only live versus historical, but also highway versus local.
    Dash is a constantly learning system that evolves with the Dash Driver Network. As you and others use the Dash Express, you will see dashed lines (representing historical traffic flow data or road sensor data) transition to solid lines which represent live traffic data contributed anonymously by Dash drivers.
    Keep in mind too that just because it is "historical" data doesn't automatically mean it is from the DDN-- there are two sources of historical data, the DDN and INRIX.
  • Kayrac 0 Points
    DashBrandon
    Dash Team Member


    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Posts: 103

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ncc1701 -

    Road sensor data that we have validated in the past with the Dash Driver Network shows up as solid lines. Road sensor data that has not been validated shows up as dashed line, as does historical traffic data. We provide historical traffic information because it's actually pretty dead-on for many roads across the country, and usually way more accurate for arrival times than simple speed limits.

    Also, as a note, you can turn off historical data if you don't want to see it by going to Settings > Set Traffic View and selecting "show only live traffic"

    Let me know how I can clarify more.

    Brandon
    Dash Service Marketing



    this also co-incides with what i have seen, so leaning towards what it is


    btw this has a post date of

    05-07-2008, 09:16 PM

    so it is rather new, perhaps they changed it
  • Tim 1271 Points
    Road sensor data that we have validated in the past with the Dash Driver Network shows up as solid lines.
    Perhaps it is just a terminology issue. What is being described in that sentence I would likely call historical data. "Validated in the past" doesn't sound too live to me.
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    I am probably totally wrong on this and misunderstood from the beginning, but until this discussion I didn't realize solid lines were generated by DDN historical or live data. I thought it represented current conditions as indicated by the color. This a revelation and not what I expected. I hope that with more drivers the data will be current rather than historical, but with my experience yesterday I now don't know whether the highway is clear, or just that it was clear last week at that time. That leaves a certain amount of doubt about the data and whether I should take that road.

    You might say that it's better than having no historical data, and I agree, but that's not my issue. Mine is that the solid line does not represent current conditions, only that it might. I thought what set the Dash apart was the relevance of the data at the time you're traveling that route. If it had been a dashed line then I would treat it as potentially incorrect regarding an incident, but useful in estimating the ETA. A solid line would tell me that someone recently passed this way and the road was good for them. No guarantees, I understand, but still more timely.
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    edited June 2008
    Second day with the Dash.

    Still same issues with getting in/out of my development. As mentioned yesterday I suspect this is a map data issue, but I could probably resolve it temporarily if I could selectively exclude/avoid roads. Is there a way to report map errors to TeleAtlas, like you can with NavTeq? Or, do I send that info to Dash.

    Today I did all local driving. Seems that the position displayed was slightly behind my actual position. And at times the little car marking my position seem to jump ahead to update the position. I could see how this might be an issue where streets are close to together. Not a biggy, but noticeable.

    One thing I need to pay more attention to and confirm, it seems to me that even after announcing that I had arrived at my destination it continued to navigate. Today, I went back to the library. It announced I had arrived. I turned into the parking lot and drove to a space. I guess I drove far enough away from the original destination position that it then started to recalculate and showed me being 500 ft from my destination, yet I was in the parking lot of the library. It think it should stop navigating once you arrive. However, after turning it off to go into the library, and turning it back on, I don't think it continued to try to recalculate or continue the route.

    Traffic is still something I'm not sure about. I believe I must be the only Dash driver in my immediate area. I'm starting to see some traffic info on the roads I've driven the last couple of days since getting the Dash. I did not see that prior to my first trip. However, one segment, for example, was solid yellow. I had just driven it and it was moving fine. So, either there is something not quite right, or something I don't understand. I did see solid green on other roads I traveled. Is it possible my data is being combined with historical data to give a modified traffic indication as opposed to just using the live data that I generated in the last few minutes? Also, I95 again showed solid green in both directions, and from I could see that was correct (I did not drive it today), but again, no idea whether that's live data or historical.

    One thing I noticed, when in driving mode (not navigating a route), the area at the top of the display where the next turn would be shown is blank. It would be nice to use that area to display the name of the next street as you're coming to it. It doesn't have to announce it, just show it. My Garmin does that and I like it.
  • Tim 1271 Points
    mapinsight.teleatlas.com
  • Tim 1271 Points
    I think it should stop navigating once you arrive.
    I actually like the fact that it doesn't do that. Quite often I'll drive around a complex city looking for a certain location, only to "find" it just as I drive by.. figuring out how to get back to where I just was is something the GPS can do-- and I don't want to have to set the destination again. So I like devices that will keep trying to get me there until I turn off the device or clear the route.
  • Tim 1271 Points
    However, one segment, for example, was solid yellow. I had just driven it and it was moving fine.
    It could just be that their expectation for that road is too fast, thus your data is providing a more realistic estimate. It would show in yellow since the current estimate is lower than it would have otherwise thought for that road.
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    I think it should stop navigating once you arrive.
    I actually like the fact that it
    doesn't do that. Quite often I'll drive around a complex city looking for a certain location, only to "find" it just as I drive by.. figuring out how to get back to where I just was is something the GPS can do-- and I don't want to have to set the destination again. So I like devices that will keep trying to get me there until I turn off the device or clear the route.
    You have a point. I don't see it as a problem really, just something I noted. I think it's also a matter of what I'm use to, so I think it caught my attention.
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    However, one segment, for example, was solid yellow. I had just driven it and it was moving fine.
    It could just be that their
    expectation for that road is too fast, thus your data is providing a more realistic estimate. It would show in yellow since the current estimate is lower than it would have otherwise thought for that road.
    I hadn't thought of that. Nothing like lowering everyone's expectations :)
  • Kayrac 0 Points
    Road sensor data that we have validated in the past with the Dash Driver Network shows up as solid lines.
    Perhaps it is just a terminology issue. What is being described in that sentence I would likely call historical data. "Validated in the past" doesn't sound too live to me.
    Yeah but it seems clear to me that 'validated in the past' means someone with a dash has driven it, and it was correct on multiple occasions, so it becomes 'trusted' meaning they trust it like a dash driver just drove over it, which is why they would describe it as solid lines

    thats what i get from it though
  • Kayrac 0 Points
    "One thing I need to pay more attention to and confirm, it seems to me that even after announcing that I had arrived at my destination it continued to navigate."

    this is being fixed in the software update, thats been verified by a dash staff member

    "One thing I noticed, when in driving mode (not navigating a route), the area at the top of the display where the next turn would be shown is blank. It would be nice to use that area to display the name of the next street as you're coming to it. It doesn't have to announce it, just show it. My Garmin does that and I like it."

    this only shows in 3d mode, they are considering putting the current street name on top in that space, but don't hold your breath for this update, perhaps further down the road


    "However, one segment, for example, was solid yellow. I had just driven it and it was moving fine."

    most probably the speed limit data for that road is incorrect, nothings perfect, it probably assumes the limit is higher, you can actually use the 'report a problem' function in dash, and file a report, and they will look into it, don't forget to check your email after you send a report from your dash, because you need to file an actual support ticket on the site as well

    It sucks doing it, but it's what they require currently
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    Thanks.

    Isn't the issue with the yellow line more likely a map data error? I also have one I need to report regarding my experiences going in/out of my development. I think they have the emergency gate shown as an open road. If I could "avoid" that road it would probably fix that. Tim posted the link to TeleAtlas, unless Dash wants you to report it to them.

    I'm reporting my observations here for those who may still be thinking about the Dash, like you, Tim, and others did for us. I probably won't report anything to Dash just yet, unless there is a meltdown, since we're so close to the release of the update.
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    A couple more days with the Dash. A few updates.

    First, no major problems.

    There are map errors. I'm a little surprised at how many I've noticed. I know it affects the route to/from my home.

    Something I would like changed is the display of the route options when given more than one route. It is difficult to distinguish between the routes especially when there isn't much difference between them.
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