I’m beginning to wonder if I have a magnetic field that interferes with vehicle technology – as a second car in my care within a six-month period has completely lost its bearings.
A decade ago, the media was full of stories of hapless drivers who found themselves on clifftops, in rivers or even in different continents after following sat-nav instructions. Drivers now seem to have mastered following computer-aided directions, though the computers themselves may still have the odd hiccup.
Our Mazda CX-3 decided it was in Russia three months ago, and this time, while enjoying the summer sun on the north Norfolk coast, our long-term Jazz decided it was in Luton.
Thankfully, I knew where I was and was able to navigate home, stopping in at the local Honda dealer two days later for a check-up. The staff did a system reset and I was back on the road 15 minutes later – with the car once again correctly identifying my location.
However, the staff told me they could apply a software update, and booked the car in a week later. The completion text came within an hour of drop-off, and so far, the car (and driver) have kept themselves safely on roads!
Although it may now be fully working, the touchscreen system supplied on the Jazz isn’t particularly user friendly. Key options – such as full lists of digital radio stations – are buried away in menus three deep, and the home and menu buttons result in frequent wrong presses.
Switching from Bluetooth music streaming to digital or FM requires at least four taps, with changing station or track requiring far more than necessary, which could possibly distract drivers and divert their eyes from the road.
Locational blip excepted, the Garmin-powered sat-nav software is one of the positives of the system. The app is standalone, and may appear slightly dated in design, but provides clear, readable instructions along with reasonably truthful traffic markings – rare in many built-in systems.