The ex­pen­sive fac­tory-fit­ted satnav may be tak­ing you on the road to nowhere, writes Mark Hinchliffe

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Inside -

An­other strike against ex­pen­sive fac­tory-fit­ted satnav as we re­veal your map­ping soft­ware might be up to five years out of date

YOUR new car could have a satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem that is up to five years out of date.

Car­tog­ra­pher Peter Davis says the prob­lem oc­curs be­cause of the length of time be­tween the car­tog­ra­pher’s data col­lec­tion and pur­chase of the ve­hi­cle.

Map­ping data is usu­ally up­dated ev­ery 18 months,’’ he says. How­ever, there can be a long time be­tween when the data is sup­plied to the satnav man­u­fac­turer, then in­stalled in the ve­hi­cle, then the ve­hi­cle is shipped to Aus­tralia, dis­trib­uted to deal­ers and fi­nally sold to a cus­tomer.’’

With the amount of road­works go­ing on it doesn’t take long for the data to be­come out­dated so it could be al­most use­less by the time you get your new car.’’

Davis says not only are fac­tory-fit­ted sat­navs of­ten out of date, but also ex­pen­sive with the av­er­age be­ing about $2500.

I’ve got prices from Ger­man man­u­fac­tur­ers for as much as $10,000,’’ he says.

They say that in­cludes the en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem, but their cars al­ready come with an en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem, so you are pay­ing a lot for satnav.’’

Davis says an­other prob­lem with fac­tory-fit­ted satnav is dif­fi­culty get­ting up­grades.

It’s a low pri­or­ity for the deal­ers who are un­likely to have an up­date disc sitting on the shelf,’’ he says.

It takes a long time to get the discs in and if you do get them they can be ex­tremely ex­pen­sive and there is still no guar­an­tee they are up to date. Be­cause the up­grade disc is con­sid­ered a spare part, it’s al­ways ex­pen­sive.

You also have to buy a gen­uine part. You can’t buy af­ter­mar­ket soft­ware that will be com­pat­i­ble with the fac­to­ry­fit­ted satnav.’’

Davis says cus­tomers should in­stall af­ter­mar­ket satnav for a cou­ple of hun­dred dol­lars.

It’s so much cheaper to get af­ter­mar­ket,’’ he says.

Davis says most fac­to­ry­fit­ted sat­navs in off-road ve­hi­cles only come with street map soft­ware, which is just ridicu­lous’’. There are many af­ter­mar­ket sat­navs to which you can add 4WDmap­ping.

His pre­ferred sys­tem is an iPad fit­ted to the wind­screen/ dash via sturdy RAM­mounts.

Il­lus­tra­tion: TomJel­lett

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