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Thread: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?


    Some options are worth more than others - at least, when it comes to re-sale value. And you might be surprised to learn which ones raise your car's down-the-road value - vs. those that may not.

    For example, factory installed, in-car GPS navigation systems. These are typically big-ticket items on the front end - adding as much as $2,000 to the purchase price of a new car. It would be reasonable to assume that such a big-ticket extra would add to the car's future re-sale/trade-in value. But according to the Automotive Leasing Guide (which publishes data on the residual value of new cars at the end of their leases, etc.) a factory GPS system actually lowers the value of a vehicle so-equipped by about 1 percent.

    How come?

    Because GPS systems - unlike, for example, air conditioning - become dated as the technology improves. Today's miracle gadget might be tomorrow's anachronism - just as CB radios and 8-track stereos became in years past.

    For example: Some 2007 cars have GPS with "real time traffic assistance" - a feature that updates your programmed route to avoid gridlocked roads. This is the very latest, "state of the art" in GPS technology.

    But a year from now, that may be old hat - or the technology improved to such an extent that the first thing any prospective buyer of a used car fitted with an older/out-of-date system would want to do is have the original system replaced. Which costs money. Which, of course, lowers the value of the car in question.

    Some industry analysts predict that the rapid pace of technological advances may actually render factory installed GPS systems obsolete so quickly that the automakers will stop offering them at all. Instead, they'll pre-wire their vehicles and set them up so that the very latest "plug and play" aftermarket systems can be dropped in - and easily replaced with an updated unit as the need arises.

    The biggest obstacle to be overcome is figuring out a way to standardize the "slot" or "cubby" that would house these replaceable GPS unit so they look presentable and integrated with the rest of the vehicle. Current aftermarket GPS units may be state of the art, from a technology perspective - but they can look clunky propped up on the dash.

    For higher-end cars especially, it will be necessary to make the "install" look as nice as the unit actually functions.

    But this is where things appear to be headed.

    Early obsolescence may also come into play when it comes to factory installed stereo rigs - and for the very same reasons. Five years is an epoch in terms of audio capability and features. For example, few three-to-five-year-old vehicles have WMA/MP3 players. But these are increasingly "must have" features on today's new cars - and a used car without a stereo that can play iPod tunes is a car that will need to have its stereo replaced. Or so a prospective buyer will claim (and expect a discount on the purchase price to cover the cost of installing a new rig).

    And five years from now, WMA and MP3 players will probably have been supplanted by some newer, better way of making music.

    And so it goes.

    On the other hand, certain features almost always make a car worth more down the road. Air conditioning, for example. Most people expect AC, in fact - and won't even consider a car that doesn't have it. Anti-lock brakes, power windows and locks, electric rear defrost and an automatic transmission also usually boost the potential re-sale value of most cars. You can buy these with some comfort - knowing that they'll almost certainly help you get a bit more for your ride when it's time to replace it with a new one.

    But you might want to think twice before ponying up that $2k for GPS - or the extra $800 for that MP3-playing stereo rig.

    Today's "state-of-the-art" might turn out to be tomorrow's albatross.

    END

  2. #2
    mrblanche
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    If I could find a "truck only" GPS, I might be tempted...but like most things electronic, GPS is developing so fast that anything built today is likely to be terminally obsolete before the windshield washer tank needs to be refilled.

  3. #3
    DonTom
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    "If I could find a "truck only" GPS,"

    What would such a GPS have in it?

    Whatever it is, I have a hard time believing somebody has not made at least such software for a GPS. They have it for boats and planes, why not trucks?

    -Don-

  4. #4
    mrblanche
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom

    Whatever it is, I have a hard time believing somebody has not made at least such software for a GPS. They have it for boats and planes, why not trucks?

    -Don-[/color]
    It needs to have a large screen, be impervious to vibration, and it needs software that eliminates all truck-illegal routes.

  5. #5
    DonTom
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    "and it needs software that eliminates all truck-illegal routes."

    That's the only real problem. Sounds like an easy job if somebody will remove the nonlegal truck routes in the software.

    -Don-

  6. #6
    mrblanche
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    And the low underpasses, light-weight bridges, etc.

    In a local-delivery type of operation, it could be valuable. For example, Chicago is famous for its low railroad underpasses. I have been there, been 100 feet from the customer where I needed to deliver, and could not get there because of one of those.

  7. #7
    DonTom
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    Perhaps they do have what you want. I did a search on "truck route GPS" and found a few things such as:

    http://www.dieselboss.com/Travrout/cptfeatures.htm

    -Don-

  8. #8
    mrblanche
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    Perhaps they do have what you want. I did a search on "truck route GPS" and found a few things such as:

    http://www.dieselboss.com/Travrout/cptfeatures.htm

    -Don-
    Note that that unit requires a constant connection to a laptop.

  9. #9
    DonTom
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    "Note that that unit requires a constant connection to a laptop."

    Which gives you a much larger screen and many more functions than without. I have a computer stand in my RV and use a laptop computer and I can speak to my GPS and it will answer. I was surprised how well it works. I can carry on a coverstation with Tommy and the computer will stay quiet until I say something like "Where am I?" and the computer will reply. If you have room for a computer stand (which is very easy to remove, takes seconds to disconnect other than the small floor mount) it might be worth considering.

    I always use the computer in the RV. I had a Garmin GPS Plus III where the display went out. I have this until permanently in the RV to use with the computer. The computer programs have many more functions than does this old GPS. If using a computer, almost any cheap GPS will work great . You can change maps and functions with the computer software. The GPS unit only tells the computer where you're at and all the other functions are in the computer's software and you can change maps for different functions.

    I have an external GPS antenna in my RV that works very well, which you will also need in your truck.

    BTW, I won't go far from home without a GPS. You will wonder how you got by all those years without it! I own several GPS units, all mine are made by Garmin, but I am temped to buy another. The new Delorme for backpacking for it's better topo map software.

    -Don-

  10. #10
    mrblanche
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    I actually had a GPS unit...until I got my newest laptop, which does not have a PS2 port. I can tell you everything that's wrong with the idea of keeping a laptop on and open in a truck, if you want to hear about it. But suffice it to say, that's not a workable solution in most cases, unless you have an expendable laptop.

  11. #11
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    I actually had a GPS unit...until I got my newest laptop, which does not have a PS2 port. I can tell you everything that's wrong with the idea of keeping a laptop on and open in a truck, if you want to hear about it. But suffice it to say, that's not a workable solution in most cases, unless you have an expendable laptop.
    Some kind of fixed mounting for the laptop would have to be devised, for that to be practical.

  12. #12
    mrblanche
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Some kind of fixed mounting for the laptop would have to be devised, for that to be practical.
    Oh, there are fixed mountings available. But, #1, most companies would fire a driver who had one in use while the truck was moving, and, #2, if he had an accident while it was in use, he likely would be thrown to the liability lawyer wolves.

  13. #13
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    There are enough GPS units for very reasonable prices for cars. They attach by a suction cup to the winshield and may be put to the left side of the driver which is out of the way. That's where I attached mine.
    For the price, it has served me well for the past 9 months. Been a lot of places and while sometimes I dis agree with the routing nad take my own. it always seems to re-route to my thinking in short order.
    For 250 bucks, if it becomes obsolete, after a couple of years, who cares-- I'll simply update to a new one. Had I bought one installed in the vehicle at the 2K price, I'd be very pissed off about the obsolescence---

  14. #14
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Some kind of fixed mounting for the laptop would have to be devised, for that to be practical.
    Oh, there are fixed mountings available. But, #1, most companies would fire a driver who had one in use while the truck was moving, and, #2, if he had an accident while it was in use, he likely would be thrown to the liability lawyer wolves.
    The temptation to play solitaire or watch porn would be too great?

    If used strictly for its intended purpose, how would GPS on a laptop be any more distracting than on a dedicated GPS device? Have there been any documented cases of collisions that happened while a driver was futzing with his GPS?

  15. #15
    mrblanche
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    The temptation to play solitaire or watch porn would be too great?

    If used strictly for its intended purpose, how would GPS on a laptop be any more distracting than on a dedicated GPS device? Have there been any documented cases of collisions that happened while a driver was futzing with his GPS?
    I've actually seen drivers watching movies on a laptop or DVD player going down the road.

    I'm not convinced about a lot of the "distraction" issues, although I know it happens. Werner, for example, prohibited using the QualComm or a cell phone while driving, but the most common cause of a distraction accident was getting out, lighting, putting out, or dropping a cigaret, followed closely by looking at a map and putting on or taking off a jacket or coat.

  16. #16
    DonTom
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    "They attach by a suction cup to the winshield"

    That is illegal here in CA. Suction cup mounts are very flaky anyway, IMO. They seem so strong when you put them on that they are difficult to remove at first. But drive about five miles and half the time they fall off by then.

    However, there are companies that makes some nice GPSS mounts. Some mount to the vents, others mount anywhere you can drill a few holes and have a goose neck. Other made for handle bars for motorcycles or bicycles. I have a GPSS mount in every one of my vehicles, including boats and motorcycles.

    -Don-

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    >>Suction cup mounts are very flaky anyway, IMO. They seem so strong when you put them on that they are difficult to remove at first. But drive about five miles and half the time they fall off by then.<<

    Perhaps if you wet the rubber before attachment, it will stay in place. Mine has never tried to detach itself and it's been on for several weeks. I remove it only when I transfer it to my other car.
    It is not illegal here in Texas for a windshield attachment, and it is out of the way when attached to the extreme left lower side of the windshield just above the inspection sticker.

  18. #18
    mrblanche
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    Perhaps if you wet the rubber before attachment, it will stay in place. Mine has never tried to detach itself and it's been on for several weeks. I remove it only when I transfer it to my other car.
    It is not illegal here in Texas for a windshield attachment, and it is out of the way when attached to the extreme left lower side of the windshield just above the inspection sticker.
    The suction holder on my Sirius radio has stayed on for months at a time, until I removed it to change a windshield or some such.

    And those are NOT illegal in CA, or at least they are not enforcing it.

  19. #19
    DonTom
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    "And those are NOT illegal in CA",

    Every unit that comes with a suction cup has a notice in it that it's "illegal in CA".

    And as always, it's up to the cop who notices it if s/he wishes to enforce it.


    http://www.rei.com/product/746093


    Please note: It is against state law in California and Minnesota for drivers to use suction mounts on their windshields while operating motor vehicles. Other Garmin dashboard or friction mounting options should be used. Garmin and REI do not take any responsibility for any fines, penalties, or damages that may be incurred as a result of disregarding this notice. (See California Vehicle Code Section 26708(a); Minnesota Statutes 2005, Section 169.71) Imported.

    -Don-

  20. #20
    DonTom
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    Re: Factory GPS - today's 8-track tape player?

    "actually had a GPS unit...until I got my newest laptop, which does not have a PS2 port."

    Why do you need a PS2 port? Seems almost everything is going to USB. I use a USB to COM cable converter to use with many of my GPS's that only have a com port cable.

    -Don-

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