Monday, April 29th, 2013

Around Sydney with Tom Tom

We went for a trip to Wyee over the weekend and the Tom Tom navigation system proved itself to be nowhere near as useful as it ought to be. Fortunately we know the quickest way north out of Sydney as had we followed the “shortest” route that the Tom Tom suggested we’d still be on our way. As we live not far from the Cumberland highway, simply getting on that road and following it north to the F3 is the simplest route – two streets covering 98% of the journey. Instead of selecting to get us onto the one street that takes us directly north out from where we live the Tom Tom instead selected a route that I assume would have taken us through a lot of back streets, it was certainly selecting far less direct and much slower routes than the obvious one even if the route it was selecting was shorter by making use of every possible laneway to keep as close to a straight line as it could. During our trip up the Cumberland Highway the Tom Tom recalculated the route more than a dozen times trying to take us off of the road that leads directly north out of Sydney onto some back street. Unfortunately I haven’t yet worked out how to tell the device to select the fastest or the most direct route rather than the shortest and slowest one.

What did work with the Tom Tom was that it did manage to tell us about all but one of the speed cameras that we had just before been warned about via a road side sign. It also managed to beep every time we passed a school (which might have been useful had we not been travelling in the middle of the day on a school holiday). It also did a better job of telling us how fast we were going than the speedometer did. It also told us the correct exit to take off the F3 and directed us to our destination from there and then took us to the Cafe that had been recommended to us to have lunch.

On the return journey it yet again tried to divert us from simply following the Cumberland Highway and tried to direct us via routes heading off in a variety of different directions. It didn’t get the chance to replan the trip home a dozen or more times the way that it did with the outward journey since the second time it tried to get us to turn off the Cumberland Highway we turned it off.

I am hoping that I can find something in the instructions that tells me how to program it to select the most direct route rather than the shortest one, otherwise the next time we head north I guess we’ll have to select the intersection of the Cumberland Highway and the F3 as the starting point so that the Tom Tom doesn’t waste time trying out millions of different routes through Sydney and constantly selecting the wrong one.

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