Navigation frustration - user error? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 09-16-2008
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Navigation frustration - user error?

I'm really hoping someone can help me and tell me I'm doing something wrong.

I have the built-in navigation on my SLK, but I'm finding it nearly useless at its main function: getting me where I want to go. It is putting me in the general vicinity, but on the wrong block and things like that.

Here's where I'm struggling: when I enter the "house number" in most cases I seem to just get an option of large ranges of addresses to pick from and can't seem to specify a specific number.

When I follow the directions, it may put me on the correct street but a couple blocks from where I need to be, and I need to navigate around a few other streets just to find that the street I want with the address I want. It is the same street name but it is cut off by intersecting streets. It is not a case of just needing to move down the road a bit. I need to take other roads to get to it.

I've had to take out a map and find my own way, or pull out my Garmin Nuvi 350 which takes me right where I need to go.

I'm hoping that I'm missing a step here and I can get to a more precise address rather than a large range. The Garmin does it, so I'm hoping the much more expensive MB unit can do it. It seems silly (and very frustrating) to rely on a Garmin when I have a built-in unit.

Am I missing a step, or is this a $1,200 paper weight?

Thanks.
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#2 Old 09-16-2008
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What version is the Nav DVD -- 2007 or 2008?

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#3 Old 09-16-2008
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$1200 paper weight. My Toyota Sienna is head and shoulders above the MB SLK Nav system. AND THE SLK IS WORSE IN CANADA! On our recent trip, it was off by 80 MILES. Luckily we could tell and it was indicating 80 miles too far rather than 80 miles short. Major roads and towns in Canada were not present. Etc. Etc.

I was hoping that the new system on the '09 was better, but I think they have just put "lipstick on a pig" to turn a phrase.

On the other hand, most of the time it is helpful in getting you in the general area, but with today's technology, the SLK navi is extremely weak.

Just MHO.
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#4 Old 09-16-2008
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Originally Posted by etyu View Post
What version is the Nav DVD -- 2007 or 2008?
Is is the 2008 version.
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#5 Old 09-16-2008
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Hmmm - so I think it's hit or miss - on our last trip, it correctly routed us over 780 miles and dropped us at the doorstep of our hotel in Hilton Head (which ain't exaclty a "big" place...)

That said, I don't have COMAND in my C, and I use a TomTom - as mtiede said, seriously better interface, features, etc that the "old" COMAND in my 2006. I've heard better things about the COMAND NGT 2.5, and it sure does "look" better, but not had a chance to really try it out.



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#6 Old 09-16-2008
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The mapping is the same UK-C200.

To be fair its not really the fault of the COMAND, it just check's its position via GPS and then uses the reference points to display that spot on the map, when you want to get from A to B it draws a straight line and then maps it to available roads based on what the user has selected and what the disk says are usable pathways.

If the mapping is bad then thats something that you should take up with MB and the supplier, i use the NTG2 COMAND in various models over here and it always gets me where i want to go, selecting roads can be interesting because it will select the section of road closest to you as is to be expected since it can't read minds but i use a house and postcode search to pick the exact spot i want.

If your getting a house number range then that is again a mapping disk issue and something for you to take up with MB.
#7 Old 09-16-2008
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I was really hoping someone would point out something obvious that I was doing wrong. But... my gut told me that the mapping software/disk just doesn't have enough data points to pinpoint a specific address in many cases (at least in my area).

When it gives me an address range to select from, I guess it just has one data point for a very large range rather than many data points to represent specific addresses.

I'll take it up with MB, but I don't expect it will do any good. I think the system would be perfectly capable of doing a good job if it had more detailed data to work from.
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I have the 2008 DVD Nav and it has only misdirected me once (using city, street and no.) instead of using POI to a restaurant in Long Beach. This however may be dependent on the locale that one is located in.

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#9 Old 09-17-2008
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My experience with the 06 SLK Navi is not impressive at all. Most of the time it returns a range of address that I have to choose even though I key in the specific house number or street number.

The POI is also very limited, not to mentioned that it doesn't have the track location we went last time and caused us 30 minutes delay on country roads.

It doesn't even have golf courses that is been there forever. My 04 PDA with TomTom map works better than that.

The Navi on my 06 SLK is a disappointment
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etyu View Post
I have the 2008 DVD Nav and it has only misdirected me once (using city, street and no.) instead of using POI to a restaurant in Long Beach. This however may be dependent on the locale that one is located in.
I have a 05/06 SLK 350 and the DVD Nav seems to be a little out dated, how do i go about getting a new DVD Disc??? Can it be downloaded?
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#11 Old 09-17-2008
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No you need to buy a new one.
#12 Old 09-17-2008
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Originally Posted by carver View Post
...But... my gut told me that the mapping software/disk just doesn't have enough data points to pinpoint a specific address in many cases (at least in my area).

When it gives me an address range to select from, I guess it just has one data point for a very large range rather than many data points to represent specific addresses.
...
My Toyota doesn't have any more GPS information (as far as I am aware) than the SLK. However, it is smart enough to interpolate. It takes into account turns in the road and how far the WHEELS are turning to interpolate addresses. I would say it has been probably accurate to within 10 to 20 feet of the house address!
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#13 Old 09-17-2008
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Its not about GPS information since everybody gets the same, nor does it have anything to do with what sensors are in use since the SLK monitors individual wheel speeds, 3 axis acceleration, throttle position, brake position and steering angle to supplement the GPS data and in areas with no sat signal replace it altogether without any noticeable effect to the driver, the navigation processor is very very smart.

The issue here is mapping data, as carver correctly states the mapping disk itself does not include individual address points but instead groups addresses into lumps and you pick a range. Thats the fault of MB and the mapping company, if they gave the car individual address points to use it would get you to them no problem at all.
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#14 Old 09-18-2008
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carver i can relate to what your going through on my S55, it has the same problem you cant enter in the specific house number only a range...and on the E500 i named the navi system Christine..and boy is she a bitch...for some reason she always ends up taking me through the worst parts of neighborhoods......i think the navigation system i have on the 750Li is by far the the superior of the three puts you right infront of where u want to go and even tells you what side its on...
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#15 Old 09-18-2008
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They gave that to the 06 C55 Nav. you can enter the exact address and it takes you to the exact address, Going from a C55 to a SLK55 I felt like I was down graded. The navs look the same, most of the menus were the same the SLK just had less options on the menus, but I think the hardware is not made by the same company.
Yeah thats right in the US the C is fitted with a MCSII, it looks like a COMAND, works like a COMAND and is branded as a COMAND but its actually a totally different system with its own map format and everything.

I guess the layout of the C disks is better in the US, its about the same over here but then our C's have a COMAND so its a different disk again, way way way over complicated.
#16 Old 09-18-2008
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The navigation is a disappointment.

Out of curiosity I put the Nav DVD in my computer to see how full it is. It has about 3 GB of data on it, meaning there is plenty of space for more data in the database even on a single layer disk.

(This is of course for the North America map data. Obviously other regions would be different.)
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#17 Old 09-18-2008
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The navigation is a disappointment.

Out of curiosity I put the Nav DVD in my computer to see how full it is. It has about 3 GB of data on it, meaning there is plenty of space for more data in the database even on a single layer disk.

(This is of course for the North America map data. Obviously other regions would be different.)

Well, most of the vendors (MB included) buy their map data from some third party company. These companies sell different levels of maps to the navi manufactures. In general, it's actually POI data that really increases the price.

The navi manufacture then implements the interface and routing system that uses the data. That's the differentiating factor - just because your map data has "street number" details, unless the navi software supports it, the data is useless.

Personally, TomTom has the best interface, and some of the best routing algorythms I've ever used. Heck, it's their only business, so you'd expect that to be the case.. ;P

Useless triva of the day - all the TomTom hardware made in the last 4 years is running Linux!



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#18 Old 09-18-2008
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i've found the best way is to always ask for intersections when asking for address's and directions, then enter that into the search. at least it will guarantee you are on the right block. *hint* sometimes if you don't find the intersection, try reversing the order of the streets you entered.


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#19 Old 09-18-2008
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Well, most of the vendors (MB included) buy their map data from some third party company. These companies sell different levels of maps to the navi manufactures. In general, it's actually POI data that really increases the price.

The navi manufacture then implements the interface and routing system that uses the data. That's the differentiating factor - just because your map data has "street number" details, unless the navi software supports it, the data is useless.

Personally, TomTom has the best interface, and some of the best routing algorythms I've ever used. Heck, it's their only business, so you'd expect that to be the case.. ;P

Useless triva of the day - all the TomTom hardware made in the last 4 years is running Linux!
I find the COMAND software designed by Harman/Becker on top of the Windows Automotive platform - The same OS used by most of the car actually (A bit more trivia for ya ) to be very good and does include the house number function, it is as you say the contract MBUSA have with NavTek (still them in the US?) that seems to be letting you guys down by not going the whole nine yards with the data they could provide.
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#20 Old 09-18-2008
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For what it is worth, I just called MBUSA Customer Care to file a complaint regarding the navigation system and the lack of address-level accuracy in my area. They are writing it up for me and will have someone call me back.

I know that I won't get a call back with a solution. I'm just hoping that enough feedback on the issue eventually leads to a solution such as more data in a future map update (assuming that is the issue).

If anyone else cares to call, the US number for customer care is 800-222-0100.
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