My question relates to automotive Sat-Nav. 'I bought a Jeep', yes I did and although I love my Jeep, not so enthusiastic about the Sat-Nav. When buying the Jeep I decided to go for the Overland model because it had all the extras included at a cost of around $78K. The 'UConnect' touch screen system seemed good at first, although there are a number of features of this system which are disabled for Australia mainly because of a lack of digital services here.
I have had the Jeep for around 2 1/2 years and noticed on many trips, the out of date maps. Every time I took the Jeep for Service I would ask about map updates. I was told several different accounts about map updates including you go to a website and download yourself (turns out this is true for US customers but they don't have AU maps. I've also been told map updates are coming. On the Net there is speculation that updates would be around $300 for one update, which may also be out of date at the time of sale.
As it stands my maps are 2012 Q2 which to me is unacceptable, possibly even dangerous to use. From research I have done on the net, there is uncertainty. Recent attempts to find out from my local dealer has been met with either no answer or 'I'll get back to you', which never happens. It seems that the question 'is there anyone out there' would be more applicable to use in terms of Jeep Support. When the guy in the ad says 'where are the Robinson's', I suspect the Robinson's are out there somewhere lost because their Jeep Sat-Nav was out of date!
I assume many if not all car manufacturers care just as little about providing proper after sales support to customers.
Lastly, my solution was to buy a TomTom Go 5100 SatNav for $280.00 which includes lifetime world map updates, yes the whole planet (4 per year), lifetime traffic and lifetime Safety Camera data. It just angers me that I paid thousands to include Sat-Nav built-in and it is essentially useless due to Jeeps failure to update. The car industry needs to get its act together.
Thanks for reading this. Would be interested in any insights or comments about this subject.
Two points about this: GPS has been around since before Gulf War 1. It’s nothing short of a technological miracle. Typically, the car industry (not just Jeep) has prioritised profit over functionality and true user satisfaction for years now, and while Tom Tom, as you correctly point out, can provide seamless updates for a few hundred bucks upfront and no ongoing cost, carmakers still treat GPS mapping as if it was some exclusive, bespoke development. (Certainly it is priced in this way off the bat, and for upgrades.)
I’m not surprised you cannot get a straight answer about updates, but perhaps FCA’s PR person, CC’d above, can grease the wheels of your enquiry within the customer support area of the business.
In mitigation I’d suggest not all that much changes over 2.5 years on NSW roads, and inconsistencies on the digital mapping side of things are more likely to be a consequence of deficiencies in the digital mapping databases held by organisations like Geoscience Australia or commercially related entities, rather than Jeep’s problem directly. My main criticism of in-car GPS is that it’s never been as smooth or as easy to use and maintain as Tom Tom.
In other words, the US government provides the Navstar satellite constellation and the signals, the Federal Government here provides the digital mapping database, some third party provides the GUI and the navigation logic algorithms to Jeep, and Jeep is responsible for disseminating software updates when they are available (or not).
Realistically I think this problem is about to die and be cremated as smartphones take over infotainment and navigation functionality in cars through the use of integration applications like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - where the IT grunt for sat-nav resides on your phone and is transferred to the car’s GUI via Bluetooth. Can’t wait for the widespread rollout of that. Tom Tom will be in your phone and then also up on the screen when you get in the car and connect, with updates in the background whenever you’re in WiFi with your phone.