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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently, my wife bought a 2018 Audi which came with a navigation app in the system. Of course, being now almost six years old, the maps are sometimes out of date. On the Audi fora there are pages and pages of very complicated technogeek workarounds to update the maps. Maybe one-third of the respondents made it work, but at least two-thirds have days and hours of frustration trying to update the software maps.

In the 2017 Bolt, just plug in the iPhone and go about one's business.

jack vines
 

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I've always thought that automakers would be at a disadvantage with any service people typically use on their phones. Not just maps, but also entertainment, home automation, messaging, etc. Google and Apple have billions of devices and users, and millions of app developers, to improve those services. A proprietary infotainment system by an automaker will always be playing catch up.
 

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"Seems GM got it right by not having an optional bucket seat that was comfortable!"

Recently, my wife bought a 2018 Audi which came with the choice of optional bucket seats that, for some, are more comfortable than the standard ones.
It all depends on whose ox is being gored: I still would have paid for an optional in-car navigation system, but you approve of GM not giving me THAT option!
 

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I've always thought that automakers would be at a disadvantage with any service people typically use on their phones. Not just maps, but also entertainment, home automation, messaging, etc. Google and Apple have billions of devices and users, and millions of app developers, to improve those services. A proprietary infotainment system by an automaker will always be playing catch up.
The key point, really, is what are the core functions related to it being A CAR, not an entertainment system. Entertainment systems need to be replaced periodically as new data and programs become available, and are better located in the phone with as seamless a connection to the car as possible. Core functions that don't change often or are unsafe to change insecurely should be in the car's systems. Also, the car's systems need to keep working indefinitely even after updates are no longer available; phones are expected to be replaced every 2-3 (maybe 5 for Apple) years, so the phone OS and other apps are seldom updated for much longer than that on any particular hardware release.

That's one reason I'm hesitant about a car based on Android Automotive (not Android Auto - it's the car's OS not a phone connection). Not only does that hand over a lot of data to Google that's hard to control, but it updates itself often. Sort of like Tesla by Google. But I don't see a commitment to a truly stable, secure OS that will run indefinitely without updates. I'm probably wrong, but I just have a bad feeling about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
"Seems GM got it right by not having an optional bucket seat that was comfortable!"

It all depends on whose ox is being gored: I still would have paid for an optional in-car navigation system, but you approve of GM not giving me THAT option!
The point being made is the difficulty of keeping an in-car navigation system current. The Audi fora use a lot of bandwidth on threads attempting work-arounds to update the in-car system. From what I read, the updates are so complicated, the typical user need not apply. On one's phone, they're seamless and free.

jack viens
 

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The point being made is the difficulty of keeping an in-car navigation system current. The Audi fora use a lot of bandwidth on threads attempting work-arounds to update the in-car system. From what I read, the updates are so complicated, the typical user need not apply. On one's phone, they're seamless and free.
I too like things simple. If Chevrolet offered power windows as a delete option, I'd gladly crank my windows by hand. So as long as I can connect my phone to the infotainment screen with a USB cable, I'm good.

Complaining about in-car duplication of a feature I have on my phone strikes me as akin to complaining about airlines because they no longer screen inflight movies on an overhead display.
 

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...That's one reason I'm hesitant about a car based on Android Automotive (not Android Auto - it's the car's OS not a phone connection). Not only does that hand over a lot of data to Google that's hard to control, but it updates itself often. Sort of like Tesla by Google. But I don't see a commitment to a truly stable, secure OS that will run indefinitely without updates. I'm probably wrong, but I just have a bad feeling about it.
Honestly, I have mixed feelings about Android Automotive (again, not Android Auto). In theory, Android Automotive and the next gen Apple CarPlay should be better than most proprietary automaker systems for most functions that face the end user.

The problem for Apple / Google is that automakers lose a source of revenue if they (the automakers) don't control those functions. Not only do automakers get a cut from app developers on their proprietary infotainment systems, they can also use that control to offer subscription services to customers (like OnStar plans). Especially for something like integrated navigation with access to the vehicle's status, I don't see automakers easily giving up that control to Apple / Google.

The problem for automakers is that Apple / Google might be able to create something that's "close enough" even without direct access to the vehicle's data:
  • SOC: Users could be asked directly for their initial state of charge at the beginning of a trip, and/or Apple / Google could work directly with charging network providers to get SOC from the charger at each stop
  • Temperature: Apple / Google could integrate weather services and GPS location to get a reasonable approximation
  • Location and speed: Apple / Google already have this data from the phone
  • Charging station status: Again, Apple / Google could work directly with the charging networks; only Tesla and VW might have an advantage with their respective charging networks
So if that "approximation" of integrated navigation to charging stops works for 80-90% of drivers and trips, all of a sudden, customers lose a lot of motivation to pay for the automakers' proprietary services, and start having a preference for vehicles that integrate Apple / Google's system.

Edit:
GM's approach with the MyChevrolet app is interesting. It tries to keep control of the vehicle data (inside the MyChevrolet app), and performs the routing / mapping function inside the app. Then it allows you to "share" the destination (charging station) to Google Maps for the actual turn-by-turn navigation on Android Auto.
 

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Recently, my wife bought a 2018 Audi which came with a navigation app in the system. Of course, being now almost six years old, the maps are sometimes out of date. On the Audi fora there are pages and pages of very complicated technogeek workarounds to update the maps. Maybe one-third of the respondents made it work, but at least two-thirds have days and hours of frustration trying to update the software maps.

In the 2017 Bolt, just plug in the iPhone and go about one's business.

jack vines
Agreed. No reason to pay for a in car navigation system if your vehicle supports iPhone navigation. Smart phone real time tracking of traffic and on the fly re-routing of your travel route is an important advantage over "dumb" in car navigation systems.

That said, in car navigation and old fashion paper maps still provide a back up system for travel in areas with little Internet connectivity. Of course, proper planning and downloading of a route to your iPhone can mitigate this dependence on connectivity.

As we all know here in Southern Oregon, blindly following "smart" navigation programs during winter storms can lead to inadvertent disaster.

Jeff
 

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I've always preferred an 'offline' gps in the car, it's why I mounted a spare Garmin in the car, and it works so much easier than having to do wired android auto. I just turn on the car and the GPS is ready to go

I'm also not a fan of android auto as it's implemented in the Bolt, in the 2017 I have to plug in unless I spend for a wireless adapter, so then I'm taking my phone out of my pocket every time and plugging it in to usb. Then there's the interface, the car stereo options are buried behind the Android interface, so if I want to listen to xm or fm or usb I have to go find it in the menu.

Another cause of the upgrade issue is stereo integration into the rest of the car, ac controls, EV settings, door lock settings. In our 2 other cars we have aftermarket stereos(pioneer), each at least over 5 years old, and I'm able to update their maps fairly easily. That's not really an option on the Bolt, but sadly it doesn't have to be like that. Car makers could do with touch controls for ac and all the security/ev settings integrated into the instrument cluster screens instead of locking everything in with the stereo.

Unfortunately the car manufacturers will keep doing what they think is best for us, integrate everything into the stereo, make a spare tire well just 1/2" shy of allowing a spare tire to fit, move the brake lights and blinkers to the bumper, they've got it all figured out. ;)
 

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I've always preferred an 'offline' gps in the car, it's why I mounted a spare Garmin in the car, and it works so much easier than having to do wired android auto. I just turn on the car and the GPS is ready to go

I'm also not a fan of android auto as it's implemented in the Bolt, in the 2017 I have to plug in unless I spend for a wireless adapter
The current Bolts have wireless Android Auto and Carplay. Your 2017 at least has Carplay... our 2016 Civic LX doesn't have it at all.

In our 2 other cars we have aftermarket stereos(pioneer), each at least over 5 years old, and I'm able to update their maps fairly easily. That's not really an option on the Bolt, but sadly it doesn't have to be like that.
The point of the original post is that Android and iOS have their map programs updated continually at no cost to GM.

Car makers could do with touch controls for ac and all the security/ev settings integrated into the instrument cluster screens instead of locking everything in with the stereo.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by "locking everything in with the stereo". The Bolt seems to have a reasonable selection of physical controls for things I'd want to change while driving (volume, radio station, temperature, defrost, seat heat).

Yes, there will be quite a bit of stuff only available through the touch panel. Today's cars simply have more stuff available than cars from 15 years ago.

I do wish I had been given the option of a factory/dealer spare tire.
 

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I've always preferred an 'offline' gps in the car, it's why I mounted a spare Garmin in the car, and it works so much easier than having to do wired android auto.
I am in a rental car often. It's getting better with more rental cars having CarPlay available, but I still have a Garmin in my bag in case. I'm rarely traveling to a destination that I know well, so having some sort of nav is necessary.
 

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I'm not quite sure what you mean by "locking everything in with the stereo". The Bolt seems to have a reasonable selection of physical controls for things I'd want to change while driving (volume, radio station, temperature, defrost, seat heat).

Yes, there will be quite a bit of stuff only available through the touch panel. Today's cars simply have more stuff available than cars from 15 years ago.

I do wish I had been given the option of a factory/dealer spare tire.
I meant you can't replace the stereo with an aftermarket, the HVAC/Security functions/EV settings are all tied into through the stereo so you couldn't get an off the shelf Atoto or Pioneer and update it.

This was the method for years, My 2000 Ranger EV now has Bluetooth, backup camera, usb connections as I was able to easily upgrade the stereo. This could even be done with a 1980s car, but in the last 10 years or so, and especially with EVs, car makers have started to tie everything into the stereo so much that the average consumer is stuck with it, and as in the Audi example really have to jump through hoops to keep it going.
 

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The point being made is the difficulty of keeping an in-car navigation system current. The Audi fora use a lot of bandwidth on threads attempting work-arounds to update the in-car system. From what I read, the updates are so complicated, the typical user need not apply. On one's phone, they're seamless and free.

jack viens
No the point you were making is how difficult it was for you and your wife to upgrade the Navigation factory installed into that specific model Audi.

While I agree with 99.6% of your overall posts and always tip my hat to how well researched and written they are; you are just too anecdotal on this one!

I have posted, over the years, my experience of putting down a deposit at a Chevy Dealer in August 2016 so that I would be able to lease a "fully loaded" Bolt EV when it arrived to that dealer, as it happened on January 3rd, 2017.

Mary Barra, the CEO of GM had already promised in her keynote speech at the January 2016 CES Conference in Las Vegas that the upcoming release of the Bolt would include an in-board Navigation system, and I had just that experience in my 2013 Chevy Volt that I was returning from its 3 year lease in September, 2016. So "fully loaded," Mary's promise and my experience as a current Chevy Volt driver, gave me the clear expectation that it would include such a system.

Now remember, the 2017 Bolt EV's Apple CarPlay was not wireless (until I purchased the 3rd party USB Bluetooth/WiFi Dongle some years later).

And at the time of my acquisition of the 2017 Bolt EV, I knew I qualified as a "Senior Citizen" because I have a Medicare Card in my wallet (thank you President Lyndon Johnson!).

And one of the features of being a Senior Citizen, and not a bug, is absent-mindedness. So quite often I would leave the Bolt in my detached garage with my iPhone still connected to USB, instead of being in my pocket, where it belongs; and as I would get ready for bed, I would realize why I could not have to find my iPhone in my flat and have to get dressed, and go out and get it! If not for an included Nav, I could have just kept my iPhone in my pocket each time.

Also, how many times did I need to "update" the maps on a 3 year lease? Zero, of course! But somehow everyone on this thread is following your prescription that I should NOT have the right to pay for that optional service, just like I did on my Chevy Volt!

And, for the record; as I have described in past threads on both this Forum and the now virtually defunct other one, as well:

1) there was one time during that lease that my personal security was put at risk because getting into my Bolt and quickly driving off did not allow me the opportunity to connect my iPhone and being in a situation where I needed guidance to the nearest freeway entrance without stopping, I had to awkwardly pull my iPhone out of my pants pocket and connect it! and

2) and as I have described, during the Pandemic and being house-bound, I frequently took car trips throughout SoCal and one time up in the mountains at the top of the Grapevine near Frazier Park, I just went "surveying" and past Pine Mountain Club, I wanted to find a new route back towards the Ocean and then drive home. But I found myself without cell service, no WiFi and no longer any internet maps as I came to a fork in the road!

Luckily, I went back to Pine Mountain Club, saw the proprietor of a now closed Diner, and she told me about some open WiFi in the town square, which I used to gain my bearings again and continue my drive!

How about GM removing the option of subscribing Sirius/XM from the Infotainment system because your wife did not subscribe to it in her Audi?!? Do you see MY point now?
 

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Before Android Auto and CarPlay, the best argument for factory nav systems was the much larger screen to view the map on. Even the smaller screens were more than twice the size of a phone in that time frame. Now of course with CarPlay and AA I can get the same nav screen that is on my phone on the larger car display. Many states ban using a phone while in motion, including for navigation. So having it projected on the dash keeps it legal, and it's also less distracting to glance at the screen in the car compared to looking down at a phone. Yes, there are decent phone holders that can keep the screen in a better location for viewing. But it's still that much smaller screen.

The biggest advantage to using the phone navigation apps (beyond them always being up to date) is for traffic. Waze has prompted me to take an odd route in the past, and I have found it was always correct to help me avoid some sort of traffic issue. I ignored it the first time and ended up in a severe backup due to an accident. My Garmin also offers traffic alerts, but it's not as good as I get from Waze. And the factory navigation systems I've had either lacked any sort of traffic info or were so far behind the event they never warned early enough to do something about it.
 
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The biggest advantage to using the phone navigation apps (beyond them always being up to date) is for traffic. Waze has prompted me to take an odd route in the past, and I have found it was always correct to help me avoid some sort of traffic issue. I ignored it the first time and ended up in a severe backup due to an accident. My Garmin also offers traffic alerts, but it's not as good as I get from Waze. And the factory navigation systems I've had either lacked any sort of traffic info or were so far behind the event they never warned early enough to do something about it.
Yep, real-time traffic data for on-the-fly re-routing is definitely a strong point of a smartphone navigation app, especially if it's a popular one. Where I live there's a public OTA real-time traffic data service called TPEG which can be received by satellite navigation systems and thus a certain level of real-time traffic information can and will be used. But it's only provided for major roads and in large sections. Smartphone app, OTOH, can crowdsource real-time data from other app users, which improves the timeliness and the granularity significantly.
 

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The only time I would like to have a Navigation program integrated in the car is when I am driving through an area without or with poor cell signal.
 

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The only time I would like to have a Navigation program integrated in the car is when I am driving through an area without or with poor cell signal.
So, perhaps GM did not get it right by not offering an optional hard coded navigation suite! (double negative used for emphasis)

A close friend of mine followed me into leasing a Chevy Volt, although his lease expired some months into 2017.

After my Volt's lease expired in September 2016, and I put down a deposit at my dealer for a "fully loaded" 2017 Chevy Bolt EV when they arrived, my friend was also prepared to lease a 2017 Bolt EV.

When he discovered that my new 2017 Bolt EV had no option for hard coded navigation, he changed his decision against obtaining a Bolt EV and instead found a used lease for a Tesla Model S on one of those swap-a-lease websites. He has since replaced the S with a Model 3 used lease and another Model 3 used lease and is never again going to consider a GM EV product.
 

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That's one reason I'm hesitant about a car based on Android Automotive (not Android Auto - it's the car's OS not a phone connection). Not only does that hand over a lot of data to Google that's hard to control, but it updates itself often. Sort of like Tesla by Google. But I don't see a commitment to a truly stable, secure OS that will run indefinitely without updates. I'm probably wrong, but I just have a bad feeling about it.
We bought a Hisense TV to replace the same after the recent quake out here. The new one had an Android OS that required downloading a Google app just to make adjustments, like changing the shutoff time. The old one had a Roku OS, we found one and got it. No app required to do normal TV adjustments. Taking the Android Google one back.
 

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The only car I have ever owned with a built in navigation system was my 2013 Nissan Leaf. Nissan stopped offering map updates after 5 years, even to purchase. To me that is the biggest problem with integrated navigation. If the OEM decides to stop supporting it, then you鈥檙e stuck with obsolete maps. If I have the choice, I will never purchase a vehicle with built in navigation again unless it has some sort of permanent update path. I actually rather liked the nav in the Leaf.
 

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...Nissan stopped offering map updates after 5 years, even to purchase. To me that is the biggest problem with integrated navigation. If the OEM decides to stop supporting it, then you鈥檙e stuck with obsolete maps...
That's a fair consideration, especially for doomsday scenarios where someone needed emergency guidance to the nearest freeway entrance or finds themselves without cell service in the mountains as they come to a fork in the road. Obsolete maps can be worse than unavailable maps, in that they can give you a false sense of security as they lead you into a dead end or dangerous situation.

Also, OEM navigation systems frequently charge fees for map updates. If you're going to pay for a navigation service, you might as well pay for OnStar which can give emergency guidance to the nearest freeway entrance, or, perish the thought, call 911 for you in an emergency situation. And with a stronger antenna than a typical cell phone, you might still have service in the mountains.

Or just download Google Maps to work offline in the mountains and keep your phone in your pocket with wireless CarPlay, and use Siri to guide you to the nearest freeway entrance.

I really don't see any competitive advantage for a built-in navigation system, especially one that typically requires purchasing a higher trim and ongoing subscription fees, compared to free, offline-capable Google Maps via wireless CarPlay or Android Auto.
 
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