Built-in sat­navs are of­ten out of date

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By MARK HINCHLIFFE

YOUR new car could have a satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem that is up to five years out of date.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Davis says not only are fac­to­ry­fit­ted sat­navs of­ten out of date, but they also ex­pen­sive with the av­er­age price be­ing about $2500.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

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