Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I've been off traveling for the past two weeks, viewing the country by road, if you want more details go visit my other blog. While driving (and I spent many hours driving), I started to think of better ways to design my navigation screen on the computer.

Right now I can tell it that I want to go from Point-A to Point-B, but what would be great is to have the car suggest towns where they have fuel and hotels where I need them (or let me set a range of something like every 300 miles for fuel and a hotel by 6pm local time). The car also kept routing me towards Chicago, it would be nice to also tell the computer to avoid major cities or let you easily pick an alternate route by dragging the route marker, like Google does, but better (80 miles outside of Chicago was congested, my own re-routing of me around Chicago and through Indianapolis saved me at least an hour, even though I drove 50 miles out of my way).

I would also like to have the car show me the time/distance to my next way-point as well as to my destination (actually three way-points would be best, so I could have my re-fueling point, my destination for the day and my final destination, I'm a numbers geek).

Finally it would be great to have all this tied into the internet via my cell phone or some other method. What I could do then is to tell the car to book a room for me via the internet, I found that it's sometimes difficult to get a room when you just show up, but if I could book it online that would be great, allow me to select from brands, let's say I liked Comfort Inns, but not Days Inns or I wanted Best Western or Marriott (Marriott's kind of expensive for cross country traveling, plus they don't offer free wi-fi, I'm going to be holding a grudge on that for a while).

For my 2004 Acura TL I would give the navagation a C+, I'm not sure if there's anything that would get an A or even a B from me. For those it would need to have the options mentioned above, plus real-time traffic and weather. My suggestion to those building these devices is that they require their designers take a 2-week road trip and test the system out (or just hire me to do it ;)).

Overall it was fantastic to be on the open road, and I'll have memories that will last me a life-time (which seems to be getting shorter every day). If you can take the time, I'd definitely suggest you get on the open road.

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