Don't forget to set the Driving Speeds in the navigation system!
Or, "Whenever everything else fails, RTFM". So yesterday we embarked on the maiden voyage of our newly acquired 2012 RX350 and I was fuming at the grossly pessimistic ETAs initially calculated by the navigation system. For example, on the 900 mile leg of our journey, the initial ETA was off by over 3 hours. Imagine my horror when our new state of the art RX said we'd get to our hotel by 10pm, after I had calmly explained to the missus that according to my sophisticated calculations (Google Maps) we'd get there by 7p, in time for dinner.
It was the same for this morning's 400 mile leg: the initial ETA was off by nearly 2 hours!!!. And so, now at the hotel, I'm searching through these forums and find only one post (from 2009) mentioning something about three little speed gauges that have to be manually set up in the nav system. And sure enough, three years and one navi generation later, we still have to manually set up those three little speed gauges (called Driving Speeds) from the Detailed Navi Settings screen (page 359 of the Navigation Manual).
So, set up those Driving Speeds or risk upsetting yourself AND the missus with wildly pessimistic ETAs! Other than that (and the fact that I still can't feel the seats' ventilation system), the RX is an awesome long distance tourer.
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Nav has been pretty accurate for me. I recall seeing that set-up screen a long time ago but didn't make any adjustments. I keep it on arrival time vs miles. For some reason I like it better that way. Now if it could do something about the traffic...
Didn't know about this setting until now! Yes, I too wondered where the nav system got the estimated arrival times from?? Now I will adjust the speed if I can find out how to do it. Must read the nav bible again!!
Don't forget to check and see if "Toll Roads" is selected in the "Nav" setup. The nav lady will not route you on "toll" roads unless it's checked as OK to use.
important "check" if anyone is traveling on NE hwys. for example, miles from my house to Niagara NY was about 100 miles more without the "check". even without the "check", it will guide through many of the toll roads so try various settings if you want to save some money on tolls.
I still have DeLorme's Street Atlas on my laptop and it is far superior to any OEM or standalone GPS I've found. I hope they will release a tablet edition soon as that may be the replacement for my current TomTom.
What made Street Atlas so valuable during a couple of long roadtrips well over 5K miles, was its adaptability. On the road, it functioned as a GPS via a remote antenna staring upward for satellite data. On my RX 300 the metallic windshield tint really messed with satellite reception, but it seemed to do a bit better stuffed into the sunroof shade on both my RX 300 and 330. The software gives you a choice of Shortest, Quickest, and Scenic routes, plus more POI description and a "radar" function to keep you informed of what's available around you, whether you are looking for gas, food or a motel for the night. Of course that big laptop screen is a great bonus, and the installation of a "Jotto Desk" gives you full time access while driving.
The big plus is the ability to take it into your motel room at night and update your planned route, search for likely rest stops, restaurants, and sightseeing side trips the following day. That's a lot easier than sitting in the parking lot poking away at the touch screen while the last blasts of winter are slowly burying you in snow. You can do a little online research on restaurant menus, park facilities, and even hotel reviews online while you plan your next day's journey.
On the road, it can be an excellent tool for your navigator (the pretty, two-legged variety) to keep busy with as you navigate with a separate point-to-point pocket navigator to keep you apprised of your route. The DeLorme software performs all the same functions, but with at least one order of magnitude more detail. All this, and even with the powered antenna, it's cheaper than any other GPS on the market - assuming you already have the laptop.
OK with that big computer screen sticking up from the "desk" alongside the shift lever you do have a couple of disadvantages. One is possible theft that can be solved by closing the laptop lid and draping it with a towel color-matched to your interior, or overnight, removing it to your room - which you probably want to do anyway.
The other complication is people think you're a cop - and that's not altogether bad. Bad looking guy pulls alongside, look at him, look at the screen, type in a few keystrokes, look back at him hard. He backs off instantly. A guilty conscience is a wonderful thing.
“Draw your chair up close to the edge of the precipice and I’ll tell you a story."
_____________________- F. Scott Fitzgerald
TLN #42 -The Meaning of Life
I have the TomTom XL550TM and its absolutely perfect set for my needs. map updates 4x a year and various other updates and customization is so much better compare to the Lexus OEM Navi. sometimes I have TomTom connected just for the traffic cam when traveling certain states.
First of all, thanks to everyone for their thoughtful comments. Second, here are my findings from the return trip (Las Vegas to Fort Worth—1200 miles). Before departing Vegas, I changed the Driving Speeds from the default 25/35/55 to 25/50/75. The new settings fixed my *initial* ETA complaint. The new ETA was accurate to within the hour and I’m very happy with that.
In addition,and unexpected, the new Driving Speeds also influenced the routing. On the way to Vegas (with the default settings), the Lexus navi—unlike the Garmin and Google Maps—stubbornly refused to route me through a 400mile “shortcut” through US highways (Fort Worth to Amarillo) and insisted on using the Interstates. On the return trip, after the Driving Speeds adjustment, it readily used the “shortcut”. That was very pleasant.
The trip was very uneventful and the RX was marvelous. It was pleasantly quiet at a constant 85mph (don’t try that on the east coast), and it even has enough space in the darkened portion of the windshield by the rearview mirror to discreetly attach the radar detector with suction cups.
Now a question to all of you (that probably belongs in its own thread): Do you trust the Automatic High Beam function? Does it really work? I was hesitant to experiment in the real world. It really has a mind of its own, sometimes disobeying my command for high beams NOW, even without incoming traffic. What has been your experience with this system?