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Is pocket PC GPS good enough for LGV navigation?
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TrevorFowler
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Joined: Aug 18, 2004
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Location: Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:57 pm    Post subject: Is pocket PC GPS good enough for LGV navigation? Reply with quote

Hello all. My first post.

I face a possibility of going back into the transport industry after a gap of a few years, and I contemplate the use of my iPAQ GPS system to help me around. However, after a whiule playing with the routing algorithm setting of Smart St Pro, I would find that I would be always be ignoring its suggestions. Basically, there are six permutations available: shortest or quickest route, avoid urban areas - or not and avoid toll roads - or not. Choosing the fastest route is natural, but choosing to avoid urban areas leads it wanting me to do some silly detours. It seems that most LGV drivers here use TomTom, but there seem to be a lot of problems with the maps, which I consider serious. However good the routing, it is not much good if it wants you to go up roads which no longer exist let alone roads with some other kind of restriction! The new Copilot 5 looks interesting with its "RV" option, though that isn't going to take low brisges into account either.

With the current limitations in routing methods, I see myself using a normal atlas for most of the way, but perhaps using the navigation for the final few miles. Even without GPS, the street mapping would be invaluable. My bag was filled with loads of maps I probably only used once or twice.

Also, is the GPS reception OK in a truck, particularly if the unit is not against the windscreen? Mine has no problems on the passenger seat, but would a truck roof defeat the signal?

Many thanks

Trevor
BTW. I trust that driver's pay has moved from 3.65 per hour! Laughing
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new CoPilot 5 may just be what you need. If you have a list of your low bridges or know what streets they are on then you can also use that information in the route planning (you can avoid certain maneuvres).

I found the RV mode to be pretty good at avoiding sharp turns, but you're right - by itself it doesn't know about the bridges.

As for reception - Most important is to get a fix. Once the receiver has locked on it's easier to keep the signal, even when moved away from the window. But yes, the roof has a negative effect. Maybe you can equip your receiver with an external antenna.
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Gus607
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Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using a Tom-Tom GO I have no trouble at all receiving & keeping a Sat signal in a HGV. Truck by the way is a Merc. Regards.
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TrevorFowler
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Location: Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reassurance Gus (607), I didn't hink there would be any problem since the unit seems to be quite happy receiving signals when in my glove compartment.

Thank you Lutz for your input. I can hardly wait for CP5 to come out. Do you know whether it will work with my GPS 3450 jacket? I've always assumed that one of the components of the Smart ST software supplied with the jacket was a hardware driver of some sort. I have never been able to get a GPS fix with any other software (simple utiliities) that I have downloaded.

Regards
Trevor
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's exactly what the hardware driver is for - it provides a standard COM port that can then be used by any of the GPS software - including CP5.

Navman's lock was the other way round - they would not permit to run their software with any alien receiver. But since V2 that's history as well.
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RoyC
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have long since given up any hope of TT3 using roads compatible with my Motor Caravan - I couldn't recommend it. However, the RV option in CP5 looks useful but does it do anything other than avoid sharp rights? Is there a better relationship between UK roads and the map to allow avoidance of narrow lanes? Does the use of Navteq maps improve the routing - if so what do they know that Teleatlas doesn't - or is it the way TT implement the Teleatlas maps?

Roy
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TrevorFowler
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My impression of the difference between TomTom and CP5 maps is that TomTom use TeleAtlas as their map provider whereas the authors of CoPilot use Navteq.

I think that Navteq's mapping is on physical boundaries, and TeleAtlas maps according to population. So when mapping Ireland for instance, Navteq will do a percentage of the entire country. With TeleAtlas, they will do Belfast and Dublin first, but after that the coverage is more patchy - rather like mobile phone coverage in Scotland!

I do believe (and this is only through reading posts in this forum) that it is possible to get TomTom to ignore small roads wherever possible by placing a very low speed rating to that class of road. It probably requires some tweaking to get it close, but even then it would still remain as a best guess. The RV option in CP5 must surely help, but there are bound to be instances where this may be inadequate. Sat nav should always be the servant of the driver, not his master.

When Navman switched to TeleAtlas for Smart St V2, the maps seemed to be more out of date than with V1. PArt of the reason from my initial post was to question the accuracy of TomTom's maps and how much this would be a problem to LGV drivers in particular.
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RoyC
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it is possible to tweak the TT operation by adjusting road speeds BUT it is TOTALLY hit and miss unless you are able to relate the road clasification - e.g. A Road, B Road etc to the internal TT clasification - e.g. 'local road' , 'important local road', 'connecting road' etc.

I have spent many happy hours trying to second guess TT and failed.
In the end I took it up with TT directly and their answer , which I cannot locate at the moment, basically said that TT is for cars not larger vehicles. Bridges are obviously one issue but I suspect this road mapping is the real problem.

I guess that it all comes down to the level of detail mainatined within the maps and there has always been talk that TT buy a 'cheaper' variant of the maps from TeleAtlas. Whether the situation would improve if they bough a 'better' grade I don't know but clearly in order to do SAFE routing with a large vehicle you really need to know road width I would have thought.

An interesting side issue is that I live on a road which is a B road but the direct route from one county town into a major tourist area and if you plot a route between these two places with TT it always uses this road. Sadly , the road is unfit for cars let alone large vehicles but this year the number of RV's using the road has convince me that TT is more used than I realised because until this year hardly anyone in an RV would use the road , depending on paper maps, and , as a 'white road' most ignored it. Now , sadly, TT says to come this way and they do - in their hordes and it simply isn't safe. The fact is - it is a B road and so TT will use it if the computations tell it to. On the other hand if road width were taken into account no one would ever risk it.



Roy
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tortoise
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:10 pm    Post subject: is pocket pc gps good enough for LGV navigation Reply with quote

You dont have to do what Tom Tom says. All i do is check for low bridges in my truckers road atlas and by pass it if it has a low bridge. Also if it says turn into a road and it looks too narrow just carry on. In both cases Tom Tom will recalculate another route.
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RoyC
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah but if life were so simple.

If only one could judge the quality and width of the complete road by the size of its junction with a major road things would be great but this is the real world.
I am not greatly bothered by low bridges in general although if my vehicle were a truck I can see that would be a problem but in any case isn't the idea of SatNav that we don't need to look at maps?

Ah but if life were so simple
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TrevorFowler
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm ignoring turnings quite frequently - and that's just in my car!
The nightmare scenario is that it sends me down a road that looks OK at the time, but may result in further problems further on, but I suppose that can happen at anytime.

I would certainly want to have a map available at all times rather than these so call "safety screens", so you can see at a glance that it is the 4 o'clock turning you need, rather than the 2 o'clock one.

I believe the entire GPS system is controlled by the United States Military. Should something happen (with Al Qaeda for eample), the satelites can effectively be switched off. Receivers would then be little more than glorified street atlases, which would be better than nothing of course.

Trevor
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alix776
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ive run tt 3 and smarst side by side but use tt mainly because i have it set up to my needs im in a 44tonner theres not much difference between them routing wise tt has the advantage for live traffic and speed cameras come in handy. as has been posted before check the truckers atlas before setting of though there is a low bridge poi that is been updated by others personally ive no problem using smart st for navigation remember its an aid you dont have to turn when it tells you
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arturus
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all
Just got back from a month in France with motor-home.Interested in this post--but for oposite reason.Trying to avoid motorways--specially the toll motorways. I achieved this by lowering the motorway and internartional road speeds to a level where TT wouldn't choose them. The downside was I got sent down some very narrow roads, in one case due to a deviation I had to go off the planned route and was re-routed down a narrow road/lane that deterioreatd into a dirt track only just wide enough to get down. I had the horrible thought of maybe having to reverse back up it. But TT came up trumps and brought me out onto the road that had been my destination.
Would this work for yourselves by tweaking down the local/minor road speeds to such an extent that TT would ignore them. Then close to your destination go back to "default" speeds in properties. Just a thought.
Regards
Arturus
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cobra148
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
dont hold out much hope of CP5 being much help with rvs
I use garmin street pilot 3 as an option to TT in the motorhome .The garmin unit allows you the option of selecting (truck ,bus ,bike ,car ect).
But you always end up in narrow roads low bridge situations whatever
you choose as the vehicle type.

Its as good as it gets at the moment, and the mapping used by all
gps systems is always going to cause panick on the narrow road
V big truck situations,at least for the time being.

But hey give it a few more years of fine tuning , and we will see
much more attention to detail being shown in the map data, and
i can see specific gps units being designed for the haulage industry
fine tuned to their needs.

But for now guys, CP5 wont help the motorhome or RV owners
I ignore garmins "turn command" when i see the turning looks
like its an entrance to hell.
So couple your judgment, with your device and your good to go.

regards
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made some good experience with CP5 - setting it to RV mode helped to avoid narrow roads and sharp turns. It doesn't know about bridge heights, though. Not yet.
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