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GPS Screwed Up in Cities?


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#1 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 11:19 AM

This has happened twice in Chicago and I meant to mention it both times, but forgot until now.  While driving around downtown Chicago, the GPS for Navigation in both the Rogue and the Mazda was absolutely useless.  It had NO idea where the vehicle was or which direction it was moving.  We had to use the phone which was presumably getting its position from cell towers instead.

 

Is this typical?  Does GPS routinely fail around high rises?



#2 the_stain

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 11:23 AM

I dunno about cities but it's worthless in the mountain valleys.
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#3 ER Pemberton

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 11:26 AM

This has happened twice in Chicago and I meant to mention it both times, but forgot until now.  While driving around downtown Chicago, the GPS for Navigation in both the Rogue and the Mazda was absolutely useless.  It had NO idea where the vehicle was or which direction it was moving.  We had to use the phone which was presumably getting its position from cell towers instead.

 

Is this typical?  Does GPS routinely fail around high rises?

Were you anywhere in Chicago where there are "multiple levels" like Upper Wacker and/or Lower Wacker?  Using a car's built-in navigation can be dicey and we learned that when we were looking for a SpotHero spot we booked on lower Wacker.  It just kept telling us to turn right and turn right and turn right.  After going in a circle we realized that the cheese had slid off the cracker.  



#4 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 11:28 AM

Were you anywhere in Chicago where there are "multiple levels" like Upper Wacker and/or Lower Wacker?  Using a car's built-in navigation can be dicey and we learned that when we were looking for a SpotHero spot we booked on lower Wacker.  It just kept telling us to turn right and turn right and turn right.  After going in a circle we realized that the cheese had slid off the cracker.  

Yes, but worse than that, too.  While driving on Wacker near the Marriot, it was showing us IN the river, for instance.



#5 ER Pemberton

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 11:31 AM

Yes, but worse than that, too.  While driving on Wacker near the Marriot, it was showing us IN the river, for instance.

George, please.  Get out of the river.  :lol:  That area can be trouble and I'm not sure if it's interference from electronics, buildings, multiple levels, etc. but I have experienced it.  That said, I have also been in the middle of Bee Balls, Kentucky (or was it Flea Fart, Tennessee?) and had the GPS taking me to a restaurant... it would send me down a dirt road and eventually say, "You have reached your destination".  Uh... <_<



#6 Glacies

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 11:37 AM

My GPS spazzed out on me in a rental car in toronto earlier in the year. It couldn't figure out where it was and kept taking me on bizzarre routes. I rebooted my phone and it worked fine. I never use onboard nav that comes in cars, that will never be as good as Maps or Waze.



#7 neddles

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 12:21 PM

There are people still using onboard navigation systems in cars?


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#8 Dave

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 12:55 PM

A phone GPS app brought cops headed to a domestic violence emergency to my door one night.

While a woman was being beat by her husband, the responding cops were on my porch arguing with me about my address.


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#9 ER Pemberton

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 12:56 PM

There are people still using onboard navigation systems in cars?

Evidently.  



#10 Zsasz

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 01:00 PM

Could be multipath from buildings.
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#11 JKor

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 01:04 PM

Could be multipath from buildings.

 

 

Leeloo Dallath, multipath?


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#12 Genesee Ted

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 01:05 PM

Yes, but worse than that, too. While driving on Wacker near the Marriot, it was showing us IN the river, for instance.

Same exact thing happened to me in the same exact place

The buildings mess up GPS. It’s like that in areas dense with tall buildings

#13 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 01:16 PM

There are people still using onboard navigation systems in cars?

Hell yes.  The Mazda is brand new and so is its nav system.  It is absolutely superb and MUCH easier/safer to use while driving than the phone.  It has voice controls that are actually useful, and things like pictures of complicated intersections and off-ramps to show you which lane to be in.  Most importantly, though, it's integrated with the HUD, and Google Maps is not - even when attached via Android Auto.  The HUD provides navigation information like distance to next turn, direction of turn, name of street, and when you get really close it adds a closing distance bar - all right on the windshield.  It knows about road closures and accidents, too.

 

It's less good at allowing the manual choice of alternate routes.  In fact, other than limited preferences like "Avoid toll roads" I don't think there IS any ability to choose an alternate route the way Google gives at the beginning.  Or if there is one, it's not at all intuitive.  Also, it obviously doesn't do the speed trap and other crowd-sourced stuff.

 

But that less-good stuff pales in comparison to having the information on the HUD.



#14 Glacies

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 01:27 PM

Is Mazda still weird about android auto/apple carplay? I really like the cars, but that was among the dealbreakers for me when I was in the market.

 

I respect you George, but onboard nav will never be as good as the others. And if they didn't integrate HUD with mobile phone media input, that is another simple failure on their part.



#15 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 01:41 PM

Is Mazda still weird about android auto/apple carplay? I really like the cars, but that was among the dealbreakers for me when I was in the market.

 

I respect you George, but onboard nav will never be as good as the others. And if they didn't integrate HUD with mobile phone media input, that is another simple failure on their part.

I don't know what you mean by 'weird' but it will integrate with both now.  It's actually pretty aggressive about it whenever you plug the phone in.  I don't like Android Auto, the car's UI is much better for radio and entertainment.

 

The HUD doesn't have any media or entertainment info on it; it would get too cluttered if it did, IMO.  It has what I listed above for navigation



#16 Glacies

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 01:45 PM

I don't know what you mean by 'weird' but it will integrate with both now.  It's actually pretty aggressive about it whenever you plug the phone in.  I don't like Android Auto, the car's UI is much better for radio and entertainment.

 

The HUD doesn't have any media or entertainment info on it; it would get too cluttered if it did, IMO.  It has what I listed above for navigation

 

It was weird because they didn't ship cars for the longest time with any of the major mobile interfaces, but they were capable so people were hacking it. Then Mazda decided to allow it officially, but you had to bring it in and pay like $300 for certain models. I have driven some nissan rentals where the interface was extremely flaky. I'm typically very apt to get a rental car with Android Auto because i have it in my personal car and I'm familiar/comfortable with it. But 2018 nissans, at least the maximas, were spotty on it actually working in the first place. My phone is an S9+ so it's not like it's old.



#17 Trub L

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 03:27 AM

This has happened twice in Chicago and I meant to mention it both times, but forgot until now. While driving around downtown Chicago, the GPS for Navigation in both the Rogue and the Mazda was absolutely useless. It had NO idea where the vehicle was or which direction it was moving. We had to use the phone which was presumably getting its position from cell towers instead.

Is this typical? Does GPS routinely fail around high rises?


It's called "urban canyon." When you can't see enough satellites, or they aren't spread out enough in the sky, you can see hundreds of meters of error, if it even fixes at all.

George, please. Get out of the river. :lol: That area can be trouble and I'm not sure if it's interference from electronics, buildings, multiple levels, etc. but I have experienced it. That said, I have also been in the middle of Bee Balls, Kentucky (or was it Flea Fart, Tennessee?) and had the GPS taking me to a restaurant... it would send me down a dirt road and eventually say, "You have reached your destination". Uh... <_<

That one is a map registration issue, rather than a GPS issue.
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#18 davelew

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 05:11 AM

It's called "urban canyon." When you can't see enough satellites, or they aren't spread out enough in the sky, you can see hundreds of meters of error, if it even fixes at all.
That one is a map registration issue, rather than a GPS issue.


The part about the river made me wonder if there was an issue with the DGPS implementation in the Mazda, but Lou is the expert on GPS around here.
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#19 Zsasz

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 05:24 AM

Leeloo Dallath, multipath?

 

this can give some whacky results.


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#20 zymot

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 06:40 AM

Google maps has my work address all screwy louie.

Should be left on one street, go half a block then left into work parking lot. Instead it has me make a right and loop around for a half mile. Or make a U-turn and go round the back of the building. Come the other way down the road and it is not a right turn in the parking lot, but some other path.

Seeing GPS satellites is not the problem. When I pull into the parking lot and when I park, it will show all the wild turns, then think and then say DONE and show me at work. So it knows what the front door is.
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