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Why is route planning so poor?
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cottonsocks
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:20 pm    Post subject: Why is route planning so poor? Reply with quote

In an attempt to avoid being sent along stupid routes that include narrow country lanes, I thought I would have a go at planning a route of my own today. Since using MyRoute-app from the makers of Tyre to Travel only results in an “as the crow flies” route when transferred to my Driveluxe (useful if you are a bird, but not much use to us humans), I thought I would try planning a route in MyRoute-app, using Google Maps (which usually seems to plan a good, sensible route) and then copying its suggested route into BaseCamp, for subsequent transfer to my sat nav. Did it work out OK? – Of course not! While I was making my way to the exit of my office car park, a few yards from the start of my route, the Garmin must have decided that I had dared to deviate a few feet away from the route I had planned and so promptly planned a totally-different route, which would have increased the route I planned myself from 31 miles / 49 minutes to 38 miles / 51 minutes via the M5. When I drove the original route later in the day, the sat nav must have got upset because it tried to divert me off a perfectly good B Road onto this one:-
https://app.box.com/s/3zzxjabv62rhyyv099yaqufytuf1aw0z

All this begs the question – why is the route planning on our sat navs so poor, especially when compared against the likes of Google maps? It’s very disappointing, especially considering how long the major providers have been in business. I don’t think I shall be wasting any more of my hard-earned money on any more of these expensive devices, which are clearly not fit for purpose.[/url]
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah ha. Back to the old Michelin paper maps then cottonsox?
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cottonsocks
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
Ah ha. Back to the old Michelin paper maps then cottonsox?
Anything is possible I guess, except perhaps getting the well-known sat nav makers to produce devices that will consistently calculate sensible routes. I'll believe that when I see it with my own eyes.
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sussamb
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're sending a route from BaseCamp start it from half a mile or so from where you start your drive. That way you won't get an immediate recalculate because you've missed the route right at the start.

Using BaseCamp I've planned hundreds of routes without any significant problem.
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cottonsocks
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, it's worth a try, but these sorts of workarounds hadn't ought to be necessary these days, especially given the cost of these things. Incidentally, if following your procedure, what happens if one has to make a slight deviation somewhere along the route - does that wreck the planning for the remainder of the route?
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topref
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally, I think the Garmin is a very very poor planner. On advice from this site, I did a master reset (for another reason) so the unit has to learn my preferences all over again, although it is a very bad pupil judging from the pre-reset period.

After the re-set, I planned a 7 mile journey just to see what route it would send me on. All was well for the first 4 miles then it wanted to route me along an extremely narrow single track road to save .4 of a mile but taking 2 minutes longer. Now, I don't want to ever go on such narrow roads but the unit ALWAYS used to send me along them. Because this happened in an area that I knew very well, I over-ruled it so it then recalculated to my preferred route.

I work as a volunteer, transporting people from their home addresses to medical appointments all around South and West Wales so a navigation aid is vital for me to do my job properly and efficiently. Very often, the unit will turn me off an A or B class road on to an unsuitable road but, because I don't always have the local knowledge, as far as I am aware, this may be the only way to reach my destination so I travel the given route only to find at the end of the road, I was rejoining the same ****ing road as it had told me to leave earlier. Now how is the unit going to learn that I don't want to travel such roads under those circumstances? It probably 'thinks' all is hunky dory because I accepted its routing but I can't undo it! And, before someone says, use basecamp, that isn't always possible because I often get calls whilst out and about to add extra patients to my day.

As cottonsocks quite rightly says, in these days of super-duper technology and the related cost of these units (mine's a 2699), this is quite unacceptable but the alternative is a TT which restricts our attempts to tweak it to our preferences. I do miss my TT but until they fully allow me to add my choice of camera alerts an POI's, I'm not going back.
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Kremmen
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Presumably, because it saved you .4 of a mile you are planning for shortest route ?

My experience with all SatNavs is never to use shortest* but always fastest.

The shortest v fastest is evident when they frequently take you off motorways and down and up slip roads where motorways bend because it is often shorter.

*I only use shortest when I have pre-planned the majority of the route and I only really need the Nav for the last few miles.
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sussamb
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cottonsocks wrote:
OK, it's worth a try, but these sorts of workarounds hadn't ought to be necessary these days, especially given the cost of these things. Incidentally, if following your procedure, what happens if one has to make a slight deviation somewhere along the route - does that wreck the planning for the remainder of the route?


If you deviate then clearly your device will need to recalculate, but you'd surely expect it to? It'll recalculate based on the routing and avoidance choices set on your device. On longer routes it's worth placing a number of intermediate points on the route so that any change is limited to between where you are when you deviate and the next point on the route.
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sussamb
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

topref wrote:

After the re-set, I planned a 7 mile journey just to see what route it would send me on. All was well for the first 4 miles then it wanted to route me along an extremely narrow single track road to save .4 of a mile but taking 2 minutes longer. Now, I don't want to ever go on such narrow roads but the unit ALWAYS used to send me along them. Because this happened in an area that I knew very well, I over-ruled it so it then recalculated to my preferred route.


The problem here is that any satnav works by looking at a series of nodes that are connected by data that includes distance and speed limit. Many rural roads in the UK are classed as 60mph roads, though they can hardly be driven at that speed! Your device also isn't a mind reader. You may not want to ever go on narrow roads but others will be quite happy to do so. All modern Garmin devices will offer up to 3 routes so choose the one that best suits your driving style.

Any other issues can generally be sorted by looking at the map as you drive rather than blindly following the directions.

It does work both ways though. Often I've been in heavy slow moving traffic on major routes and by looking at the map have been able to pick a route around it by taking minor roads.
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sussamb wrote:
The problem here is that any satnav works by looking at a series of nodes that are connected by data that includes distance and speed limit. Many rural roads in the UK are classed as 60mph roads, though they can hardly be driven at that speed!
Stop defending the indefensible suss. They know about speed limits, tight bends, schools, wildlife crossings, etc. etc. So surely they must know about single track roads. If you select 'Fastest route', they should never ever try to take you down one unless it's unavoidable. Even Google street view didn't go down my 'pet' single track road at the co-ordinates given below.
Quote:
Your device also isn't a mind reader. You may not want to ever go on narrow roads but others will be quite happy to do so.
In that case the user should put in 'Shortest route'.
Quote:
All modern Garmin devices will offer up to 3 routes so choose the one that best suits your driving style. Any other issues can generally be sorted by looking at the map as you drive rather than blindly following the directions.
But you can't necessarily see that it's trying to take you down a single track road from looking at the routes offered. What about iGO's 'Scenic route' that minimises turns and junctions? Sometimes a good option. As they undoubtedly have the required data, what the devices need is an 'Avoid single track and unclassified roads' option.
Quote:
It does work both ways though. Often I've been in heavy slow moving traffic on major routes and by looking at the map have been able to pick a route around it by taking minor roads.
I 100% agree on that one.
I have just tried routing in my iGO, and all routes take me down my 'pet' single track road at 51.11882, 0.40243 on 2015 maps. Will try my Honda satnav and my iGO Truck later and report back.

What is strange though, is that Google maps gets it right and avoids the single track lane. So it can be done using google maps AND the correct (sensible) routing algorithms.
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sussamb
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
They know about speed limits, tight bends, schools, wildlife crossings, etc. etc. So surely they must know about single track roads. If you select 'Fastest route', they should never ever try to take you down one unless it's unavoidable.


But even that depends on what a user believes is 'unavoidable'?

And it's too simplistic to say that if you're happy to go down single track roads then you should select shortest route. Otherwise you might be taken cross country all the time.

Fact is no matter what options you include you won't please everyone.

Garmin, TT etc sell because they do what most users want most of the time. There will always be examples that don't suit some users but others are happy with. Garmin, and perhaps TT, provide a web site for user feedback, and if they get enough folks asking for the same capability then they introduce it. Best way forward is to make any suggestions there.
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Kremmen
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always found MapPoint, and it's home version AutoRoute to keep you on A roads where possible.

Even when PC's were less powerful than modern SatNavs it still did a better job.

As mentioned, it has to be that some/most tracks are set at the national speed limit instead of a sensible speed.

Again, they need a function to avoid unclassified roads and keep to A and B.
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sussamb
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those who wish to make suggestions

http://www8.garmin.com/contactUs/ideas/
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But even that depends on what a user believes is 'unavoidable'?
Unavoidable is not a user choice. It's when it is the only road available.
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sussamb
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strangely enough I've just hit the opposite problem. I'm due to visit some friends in Tonbridge. I live in Worthing and both BaseCamp and my Drive want to take me up the A23/M23, along the M25 and then down to Tonbridge. Distance of 65 miles and time of 64 minutes. I want to go via Lewes, putting in a via point I get the distance only being 47 miles (a saving of 17 miles) at a cost of 5 minutes.

Now I'm sure there are some who would prefer to go the extra 17 miles and save 5 minutes, but not me Very Happy
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