TechnologyThe best tricks to get the most out of your travel GPS

    The best tricks to get the most out of your travel GPS

    The best tricks to get the most out of your travel GPS

    With eight million trips last year and concentrated in a few days, the Constitution Bridge is one of the busiest moments in terms of traffic. A concentration of vehicles that can trap drivers in nerve centers, but that can be alleviated if a connected GPS navigator is used.

    GPS navigation applications have a fundamental mission: to take the driver from point a to point b, in the shortest possible time (this is how most browsers are configured by default). However, these sophisticated applications have more features that can make the trip much more efficient.

    Plan the trip in advance

    In general, we have become accustomed to entering the destination of the trip already seated in the vehicle and with the seat belt on; there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not the most efficient solution. For what reason? Traffic flows do not usually vary much along the routes, so big data makes it possible to know in advance and with little margin for error, what is the best departure time.

    In this way, it is possible to indicate to the navigation application the day before which will be the destination of our trip and the approximate time of departure. What do you get with this? The navigation application will show the busiest hours based on the traffic history of that route and taking into account the time. In this way, the system will show which moments are best to start the route and which ones to avoid. To select the departure time, simply indicate it at the time of knowing the route (in Google Maps and Apple Maps), or in the ‘My Waze’ section of Waze.

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    Save fuel

    With gasoline skyrocketing, more and more drivers are choosing the cheapest route as an alternative to the fastest; In reality, they can separate both just a few minutes, but the economic difference counts. To do this, applications such as Google Maps have a specific function that precisely searches for the most economical route in terms of consumption.

    This new option —available when selecting the route— takes into account variables such as the distance in kilometers, the elevations, and even the type of vehicle that is going to be driven (a hybrid is not the same as a diesel), to calculate the route more efficient. Google explains in its blog that a few more minutes of driving can produce very considerable savings in consumption, and the fact is that the highway is not always the best way to travel from one point to another.

    dodge traffic jams

    It is one of the functions that offer the most added value to the user and that is, the connected applications allow to know in real time what the traffic density is at a given moment. This makes it easier for the algorithms to make immediate calculations (to the point of modifying the route, once we are driving), and in this way ensure that we reach our destination in the shortest possible time.

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    This function is especially interesting in the urban environment, where a retention can catch us in a matter of seconds. How do navigation apps know the traffic situation in real time? The bulk of navigation applications use common traffic sources (usually official ones), but also traffic generated from mobile devices.

    It is not necessary to open a navigation application to ‘report’: mobile phones send their position to servers (both Google and Apple), unless the user requests that it not be done. And with this information, the algorithms calculate the average speed, a piece of information that, together with the traffic history, makes it possible to report with great precision a retention and recalculate the route.

    Avoid potential speeding tickets

    Respecting the speed limits is essential for safe driving, but on many occasions and on routes that are not usual, it may be that we get confused and exceed these limits. In this sense, some navigation applications have audible warnings that are activated as soon as the vehicle has exceeded the maximum speed allowed.

    The cartography with which the different GPS navigation apps work, have speed limits for each route on which they circulate, with which the user only has to activate said warnings. In Waze and Google Maps (Android), just click on My Waze/Settings/Speedometer, and activate the alert; Apple Maps does not alert you to speeding, but shows the limit on the screen.

    Know the particular circumstances of the destination

    When traveling to an unfamiliar place, everything is new, and this is especially important when it comes to parking. In this sense, it is advisable to observe with the satellite view, how are the accesses to the car park, or if there is a parking area in the area.

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    “I usually use Google Maps a lot to see if the parking entrances have a height sign,” explains Ricardo Colloto, the popular taxioviedo on Twitter, “I use it to see if I can get in with the van.” This very simple trick consists of entering the destination address and applying the satellite view to analyze accesses, parking areas and other circumstances that may bother the driver at the time of arrival.

    Download maps on mobile

    Depending on the destination and the coverage, it may happen that the navigation application cannot access the maps at any given time. To avoid this stressful situation, it is best to download the destination area on your mobile, so that you always have the possibility of driving with directions (although without traffic information).

    Google Maps allows you to download certain areas on the device, and will even alert us when it considers that said map may be out of date. To do this, just click on the user icon at the top right and go to Offline Maps and select the area to download.

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    Source: EL PAIS

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