Babies, burps and sat-nav software

I took a day out yesterday to visit my newly born niece just 25 hours after she decided it was time to arrive into the world. This meant leaving leafy Surrey for the day and negotiating a few chunks of the A31 on the way down to Dorset.

I took a day out yesterday to visit my newly born niece just 25 hours after she decided it was time to arrive into the world. This meant leaving leafy Surrey for the day and negotiating a few chunks of the A31 on the way down to Dorset. Sat, as you do, listening to the rants of the lady in the satellite navigation system, is it just me that thinks this software could be better?

I imagine most of us have been in a car with one of these things and enjoyed playing the – “I know a faster way to go than the computer does so I’m going to annoy the hell out it by taking a detour” – game. She insists on U-turns, diversions and complete circuits of every roundabout in sight until the system sees that you’re heading in something resembling the right direction again. Shouldn’t awareness of the driver’s local knowledge through some degree of artificial intelligence (AI) be part of the next iteration of these units?

We nearly missed a few turn offs in Bournemouth as her directions are way early on some turns and non-existent on others. If we could programme the system to incorporate attentiveness (or annoyance) level and also embrace the knowledge of whether the driver has been to an area beforehand, then it would make the instructions given more appropriate wouldn’t it? Again, I would argue that this is a type of AI.

Would it be a case of technology over-engineering to elevate these systems, or do you think it would be a good thing? I don’t know, there are many who would argue that a map and a Mars bar are equally worthy travelling accoutrements. Anyway, welcome to the world Millie and thanks for all the burps!

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