Instances of satellite navigation systems routing traffic along inappropriate routes in Hampshire are all too common, this is recognised as a national issue that receives significant media coverage. The problem has a number of contributing factors:
Faulty mapping data
There are a multitude of different devices and map versions currently being used on our roads, as well as a variety of device and software manufacturers. It is a common misconception that there is a single map source that once updated corrects the issues relating to a specific area. Due to the commercial sensitivity of the mapping sector there is no central updating process, organisation or single point of contact to report mapping/routing issues.
Many drivers do not update their devices with the latest mapping data very often, if at all, so when a correction has been made there are still many devices on our roads that will contain the error in their routing.
The individual configuration of the navigation device can affect the routing method (e.g. shortest vs. fastest), the fastest route normally uses major trunk roads, whereas the shortest route could include narrow country lanes. Drivers should always evaluate the suitability of a route over the advice offered by a routing device.
HGVs and rural routes
Issues arising from HGV and van drivers using routing systems are usually caused by drivers using personal devices designed for cars, a route suitable for this vehicle size will always be chosen if they are in anyway a legal right of way for car sized motor vehicles.
However, software packages and navigation devices that adapt the routing based on vehicle dimensions and legal restrictions are becoming more commonplace. The software allows the user to enter the weight, height, length and width of the vehicle, and the device will calculates a suitable route based on the size of the vehicle being routed.