I had other stuff to talk about today, but this weekend I got a letter from NAVTEQ, the folks who make the maps for my long-term Honda Insight's navigation system, inviting me to purchase the 2011 map update.
"Updating your map is simple, affordable, and will help keep your navigation system working efficiently," the letter said. And then I saw the price: $185.
One hundred eighty five dollars.
I just about choked on my toast.
I've always been a big fan of built-in nav systems. Yes, they are more expensive than aftermarket, but I always figured it was worth it to have the system integrated into the car. But $185 to upgrade the maps? What are they smoking? For that price, I can buy a Garmin or Tom Tom system with more features (including real-time traffic, speed limit displays, and free map updates) and better functionality, and still have enough change left over for two weeks' worth of gasoline. And I'm supposed to update the maps every year?
I have to be honest, the price of updating the maps on a built-in GPS system is something I've never put much thought into, but now that I've seen the price, it's changed my thinking about built-in navigation. Until the automakers and the map providers lower their price, I'm thinking that third-party nav is the way to go. -- Aaron Gold
Photo © Aaron Gold