Saturday, December 27, 2008

soapbox: updating factory vehicle GPS navigation maps, the costs

yes, i am among the 'lacks a sense of direction' types when it comes to driving in new places and in turn have a navigation system in my car.

i went the factory option since 1) it was covered under warranty 2) very seemless integration and a good system 3) gave me a SD card reader via a pc card slot

at the time the  benefits outweighed the negatives (cost was only negative at time).  they have for some time, however this year i decided to update my maps for my navigation system and thus this post.  more ranting after the jump.

actually, i purchased my 06 Civic Si with the factory GPS navigation system back two years ago.  the main reason i chose the factory navigation vs a diy/aftermarket kit was that the honda system was very good; i'd seen the previous version in my pals 05 Acura TL.

factory navigation systems are usually pretty good systems; they, for the most part, are much more stable in terms of not crashing or being buggy (the automakers have a higher bar vs the manufacturers of navigation units selling to consumers not in cars).

there are two huge negatives against factory navigation systems or at least most.

1) COST! they are friggin expensive.  my honda civic's navi package was an good $2100 extra.  but the build quality is very excellent (its an alpine navi system when it all comes down to it) but you do get the system backed by warranty and installed (can be costly if you buy  an aftermarket and don't know how to wire/install)

2) map updates (ie MORE COST). yes, this is what kills me. with Honda navigation systems you have to buy, YES BUY an updated DVD w/new maps.

oh wait.. this dvd doesn't just cost $10 or $20 or heck even $50; it usually runs in the $200 to $250 range.  and each year, if you wanted the most updated maps, you'd have to get a new dvd.

i'm sorry but the fact that i paid already 2K for a navigation system should be enough to justify free map updates.  plus, its not like they are adding any new functionality to the GUI or interface.

hey, add a new mp3 playing skin, or even a FREAKING WORKING RANDOM mode (yes, my random/shuffle is the same each time i enable it; not very random to me.  why is it that random isn't random? it should regenerate a completely random list!!)?

well, that is my soapbox rant of this month.

boo to costly map/dvd updates to factory navigation systems that already are overpriced.