Facebook     LinkedIn     Twitter     Google Plus     Jobs     RSS

Business Fleet - Current Articles

September 2009, Business Fleet - Feature

How to Choose a Portable Navigation System

In a technology-driven world and with the expanding growth of GPS navigation, the choice of a portable navigation device for fleet vehicles is a matter of features, cost and convenience.

by Lisajoyce Vergara - Also by this author

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe

In the complicated world of driving and directions, help arrived with the advent of the Global Positioning System (GPS), which can assist drivers in navigating unfamiliar territory with confidence. Physical roadmaps are tools of the past.

Everywhere GPS Needs to Be

A portable system has the advantage of easy transfer from vehicle to vehicle, enabling drivers to share a unit or lend it to others. Most units allow users to choose guidance options that include plotting the shortest and fastest routes. The database not only directs drivers to their destinations, turn-by-turn, it also can provide common points of interest such as gas stations and ATMs.

Nearly 14 million portable GPS navigation devices were sold in 2006, compared to about 4 million in-dash navigation units. Priced at $300 to $800, portable units are less expensive than the typical price tag of up to $2,000 for an integrated, in-dash, factory-installed navigation system.

Market leaders Garmin, Magellan and TomTom brands now face competition from brands such as Alpine, Rand McNally, Delphi Audiovox, Cobra and others, according to ConsumerReports.org.

Choosing a Portable System

The following considerations when choosing a portable device can help fleets best utilize the system.

1. Navigation Functionality. Focus on the device functionality and research how other users rate it based on features and map database coverage.

2. Built-in Battery Convenience. The battery should operate for at least four hours on one charge.

3. Text-to-Speech Capability. A system that speaks street names rather than announcing directions (for example, "turn left") helps drivers negotiate an unfamiliar area. This feature reduces the need for drivers to take their eyes off the road to look at an on-screen map.

4. Unit Size. The more portable the unit, the better. Units have decreased in size since the first portable GPS device entered the market. However, a too-small device may be hard to read or operate. A 3.5-inch screen is a good compromise of portability and usability.

Portability Poses Drawbacks

Disadvantages to consider before purchasing a portable GPS include:

  • Units can be lost or stolen.
  • Smaller unit size decreases screen display visibility.
  • Tunnels and concrete canyons interrupt satellite signals and prevent units from functioning. The more sophisticated in-dash versions can project a vehicle's path on the route map, even when the satellite signal is interrupted. However, neither portable nor in-dash units are completely foolproof.
  • Warranties are short-term, generally 1 to 2 years.
  • Portable units attach to the windshield or the dashboard with a simple suction cup, which can obstruct a driver's vision and may be prone to theft. Some states, such as Minnesota, prohibit mounting a portable navigation device on the windshield, and individual fleet policies that ban placing units on the windshield may supersede state regulations. BF

 

Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email:  

E-NEWSLETTER

Authoritative & Targeted! We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry. Subscribe to one or all of them...they're FREE. SUBSCRIBE!

View the latest eNews DRIVING FORCE

ARTICLE ARCHIVE SEARCH

Popular Tags:

Fleet Job Finder


Save time and money. Search for fleet jobs. Advance your career. Access our career coaching services

Job Seekers

  Post your resume & manage your job search.

Employers

  Post jobs & search top quality resumes.

Featured Jobs

BLOG

Driving Notes

Chris Wolski
2015 Chevrolet Colorado Mid-Size Pickup

By Chris Wolski
Yes, for fleets, the Colorado is fundamentally a truck, designed for a specific, utilitarian purpose, but Chevrolet also didn’t forget the driver—hence it’s the perfect melding of form and function.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country Pickup

By Mike Antich
While the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Silverado High Country will definitely appeal to the horse trailering equestrian enthusiast, the truck also has a place in the commercial fleet market, especially for tradesmen, contractors, and foremen, whose vehicles are their mobile offices used in non-severe duty applications.

2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo Van

By Paul Clinton

2015 Chevrolet Suburban Large SUV

By Stephane Babcock

Market Trends

Mike Antich
10 Factors Driving Commercial Fleet Vehicle Acquisitions

By Mike Antich
The majority of companies place new model-year orders according to set vehicle replacement parameters; however, projected improvements in economic conditions across almost all business segments bode well for 2015- and 2016-MY commercial fleet sales.

15 Factors Putting Downward Pressure on Fleet Operating Costs

By Mike Antich
For the second consecutive year, total fleet operating costs have remained flat for commercial fleets when compared to the prior year. This blog identifies the 15 factors that are putting downward pressure on fleet operating costs.

The State of the Fleet Sustainability Market

By Mike Antich

Forecast of Operating Costs for Class 3-6 Trucks in Calendar-Year 2015

By Mike Antich

Auto Focus

Chris Brown
Premieres and Trends at the LA Auto Show

By Chris Brown
The 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show featured less green-speak and more driving excitement aimed at younger buyers. Get ready for more compact crossovers, as Mazda, Honda, Fiat, Volkswagen and Scion launch brand-new models next year.

Hertz’s Earnings News: Rapid Reaction

By Chris Brown
Hertz will be on an accelerated buying and selling schedule in the next six months. How might that affect the market?

Assessing the Plusses and Minuses of Today’s Market

By Chris Brown

Can Leasing Work for High-Mileage Fleets?

By Chris Brown

STORE

$5.00

Business Fleet - January/February 2014

In This Issue:
Here are some of the Highlights:

  • Got Compliance
  • Vehicle Valuation 101
  • Cabovers Gain Popularity in Medium-Duty Truck Fleets
    And much more…