Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Navigation Project

The fact that we rely on technology to get us through each day, seriously probably every second of the day is pretty incredible. I'm pro technology that's for sure. But as evidenced in the PVR project, when technology fails me, I am not a happy human. (By the way my PVR still does not actually record, just a little update on that)

My automobile came equipped with a state of the art navigation system. I thought this was amazing that from now on I would never struggle to figure out how to get places, and would never get lost. I've learned that this turned out to be a completely incorrect assumption on my part.

Whenever I am traveling to a destination I've never been to, I attempt to program my nav system to get me there. For starters, the voice activated system requires that you speak in a tone exactly such as it speaks to you or it will not understand you. It uses an accent not even found in nature, so I must pronounce Toronto, "Dourondo" to get it to understand what the hell city I'm indicating. Furthermore, it should be obvious since I'm actually currently in Dourondo and it's not that much of a stretch that I may want to check out a destination in my own city. In most cases after 3 times of repeating it, Nav tells me that no one by that name exists in my telephone directory. 30 minutes later I've pulled over on the side of the road and manually scrolled through each letter of the alphabet to spell out where it is I'm trying to go. Seriously, interpreting contour lines on a topographical map and understanding when I should be traveling uphill would probably be faster than what I experience. Alright, I'm departing on my journey here we go.

Nav also is kind enough to provide me with an ETA so that I can call ahead and tell my appointment that I will be late due to spending an extra 30 minutes programming the location into my automobile. The ETA feature turns out to be completely inaccurate, as it tells me I will arrive at 6:45pm. Every minute I drive, it adds another minute to this ETA. How is this even remotely useful? Really it should just say "I don't know when the hell you will arrive so just drive and get there whenever the fuck you get there".

I am not going that far, so in my mind I do not expect my journey to take more than 20 minutes. 45 minutes later Nav is reporting that I will arrive in 20 minutes. Which has what it has been reporting since my departure. I'm getting really frustrated here. I have also figured out that it has taken me through 35 different residential neighbourhoods, with 5 million stop signs complete with a lot of traffic. This CANNOT be a good game plan Nav wtf? One hour and 15 minutes later I finally arrive, and the store is closed and I'm shit out of luck.

This is not the first instance of Nav being a total asshole. I recall many other instances where I thought to myself, this makes zero sense. But technology is always smarter than me so I've always just accepted it. I'm here today telling GPS systems of the world to suck it. You are useless. How do I know? Because for months now every time I am going ANYWHERE, driving to work, to my home, to a store around the corner, I program the location. And every time it delivers me to my destination using the slowest possible, most inconvenient nonsensical route that could ever exist.  I could get there faster if I located a sloth in South America, and rode it from the jungle down there up to Dourondo to my destination.

Do not trust them. Unless you enjoy driving around aimlessly for 2 extra hours a day and screaming at your car when you tell it you want to find a TD Bank on Adelaide Street in Toronto, and it's directing you to a Pizza Pizza location in New Hampshire.

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