Sunday, October 17, 2004

Navigation in Honda Odyssey

This weekend was our first chance to have a long trip in the Odyssey. I though that the navigation system was great, and was really useful. There were a few bugs/limitations that I hope get resolved in a future release of the software:


  1. Normally when looking at the maps on the screen, we like having
    the top of the screen being straight ahead, instead of due north.
    While driving around the San Francisco Bay area, this is the default
    behavior. But we noticed that when driving around Palm Springs, the
    top of the map was always north. When driving back towards LA,
    suddenly the behavior changed, once we got past a certain point. It
    seems that some maps have information that lets them be rotated, and
    these seem to be in the major metropolitan areas. In other areas, the
    maps are stuck in a north-up orientation.
  2. The time to destination calculations do not take into account
    traffic. It seems that all the calulations are doing is distance to
    destination/speed limit. This does not take into account traffic
    delays. What I think that calculation should be is, for each remaining
    leg distance/(average speed on this leg, with the maximum of the speed
    limit)
  3. There doesn't seem to be a way to find closest "place" to this
    route. There is a function that lets you sort destinations by
    distance. It appears that it is sorting by "as the crow flys"
    distance. For example, if while driving you want to stop at McDonalds,
    you can tell the Navigation system to show all of the McDonalds, sorted
    by distance. Now pick one that is 1 mile away. Since you are are
    still driving, by the time that you make that selection that may not be
    the closest destination. As well, that one may be a lot further than
    the estimates. What feature I think should be present is, find the
    closest destination to this route, that I will arrive to soon. (So If
    I am moving, it assumes that It will take me 5 minutes to make my
    selection, so use that location as the starting point. If standing
    still, use the current location)
Update: We just noticed that pressing on the "north" indicator causes the display to switch between north orientation to direction orientation.  (Maybe I should have read the manual)