GPS And Blind Faith

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Jacob Wycoff is in town. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say what he’s doing, but it’s a cool assignment. We got together for dinner tonight. First time in five years.

Jacob is staying in Rosemead. He might as well have told me Mars. I’m clueless.

The new car has GPS, so I programmed in the address and set out. Locals always know better shortcuts, but for a territory virgin, GPS is an amazing tool.

This nav is hooked into satellite radio. It gets live traffic updates. It was very chatty tonight.

First it enumerated all the slowdowns on the 5. Then it told me it was changing the route.

Was I consulted?

I was not.

My rule with GPS is you believe or don’t. You don’t change your mind mid-route. For safety’s sake, the ability to preview the route isn’t available while you’re in motion. So, when the GPS changes the route, you must accept it on blind faith.

Down Irvine Blvd instead of the 5. Through Irvine and Tustin, I rejoined the Interstate in Santa Ana.

The GPS wasn’t done yet. It changed its mind once more, taking me back off the 5 and onto city streets… miles and miles and miles of city streets.

During the early evening hours freeways here are everything you’ve been led to believe. I-5 has four through lanes plus an HOV lane in each direction. Traffic’s still stop-and-go. This major change seemed plausible.

It’s certainly a route no human would formulate. Too awkward. Too disjointed. Too anti-intuitive.

Did the GPS save me time? Clueless again. Maybe all the GPS units are sitting around tonight having a laugh on me?

It was 1:40 to get there. The ride back, down the 5, thirty five minutes.

8 thoughts on “GPS And Blind Faith”

  1. I could find Rosemead blindfolded. Did you get off Rosemead Blvd or another exit on the San Bernardino Fwy? If I was a GPS, I would be laughing too. LOL now!

  2. Having gone to Chicago with a GPS – my biggest complaint is that they seem to be in league with the toll booth operators. Every time we left the hotel, they ran us through the toll plaza and around the block again – instead of just having us make a u-turn. We eventually got wise…

  3. In 1995 I had a brain injury. I took a major hit in mapping skills. I get lost in my subdivision so I absolutely rely on my GPS. Yes it has taken me down dirt roads when I input routing preferences which encouraged it but it has never failed to get me there. Say what you will about GPS I thank God for it.

  4. NOPE… they are in cahoots with the petroleum sellers. The longer it takes on the longest route the more gas you will use GPS = $$. Even if you choose the shortest route, it will still attempt to hijack you. Speaking from experience. I will turn it on to go to familiar places and invariably she will attempt to change my route to a longer version. LOL! But I too find it to be a valuable addition to travelling. We do always eventually make the destination – even if it is by the overland stagecoach path!

  5. Truck drivers have ended up on the Merritt Parkway and found themselves getting stuck. Commercial vehicles are not permitted. I’ve ended up on dirt roads and trying to find a place in the middle of CA. Also I could have ended up in a river one time in MA if I followed the directions of my GPS. Sometimes it is better to get out a map of the area or check out a map online before heading out to find a place.

  6. HiJeff,

    I have a SUV with Sat Radio and built in GPS.
    I used it a few times then went back to my external GPS, Gives clearer directions and better map displays. They are great tools but not always the best route. Local knowlage will alsways beat the GPS but when you don’t know an area the GPS is a good choice.

  7. Could have gone up 57 to 60 and over. Yep. there a many ways. Straight up I-5 to ? In L.A. consider your Geography theorems – You’ll get there.. Sorry – I lived there for 30 years, here in CT for 30 but I remember.

    1. Richard, I lived in So. CA for 50 yrs. I spent thousands of hours driving on the freeways over the years. I could drive the roads there with ease. People that are newbies could end up confused how to go from one location to another in LA & Orange Counties. If I was driving from Irvine to Rosemead, I would take 5 (Santa Ana fwy) to 605 (San Gabriel River fwy)to 10 (San Bernardino fwy) and probably get off on Rosemead Blvd.

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