Built-in satnavs are often out of date
YOUR new car could have a satellite navigation system that is up to five years out of date.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,’’ he says.
‘‘With the amount of roadworks going on it doesn’t take long for the data to become outdated, so it could be almost useless by the time you get your new car.’’
Davis says not only are factoryfitted satnavs often out of date, but they also expensive with the average price being about $2500.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 anyway, so you are paying a lot for that satnav.’’
Davis says another problem with factory-fitted satnav is the difficulty of getting software 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.
There are many aftermarket satnavs where you can add4WD mapping and you can get updates live over the internet
‘‘Because the upgrade disc is considered a spare part, it’s always expensive.’’
He recommends that customers install after-market satnav costing as little as just a couple of hundred dollars.
‘‘It’s so much cheaper to get an after-market model,’’ he says.
Companies with factory-fitted satnavs include Polaris and VMS, which has a factory-fit-style satnav built to make the dashboard of the Toyota Prado GXL and SX 150 series look like the Kakadu or ZX models.
It integrates with the factory entertainment unit while replacing the factory 9cm reverse camera screen with a larger 20cm HD touchscreen.
It features voice guidance, ‘‘Whereis’’ maps and red camera alerts and can be preloaded with 4WD maps.
Davis says this highlights another problem with factory-fitted satnavs in off-road vehicles.
‘‘Most of them only come with street map software, which is just ridiculous,’’ he says.
‘‘There are many after-market satnavs where you can add 4WD mapping and you can get updates live over the internet.’’
Cartographer Peter Davis says customers satnav for just a couple of hundred dollars can install after-market