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Why GPS is the Greatest Invention for Today's Drivers?

Here at Cox Petrol, we want to make sure you are aware of the 'must-have' technology for your vehicle to make your driving experience even better. We've put together a list of the importance behind having a GPS device.

Let us count the ways:

  1. You never have to ask for directions.
  2. You always know how long it will take to get where it is you're going.
  3. Access to real time traffic information is available, routing your around traffic jams.
  4. If you get really lost, you can just hit the home button to start over.
  5. Help for first responders to find you is available if you get in trouble on the road.
  6. If can locate the nearest gas station for you.
  7. It lets you track your car if it ever gets stolen.
  8. it lets you track your kids when they borrow the family car.

You might be able to think of a few more good reasons, but basically a GPS  means you never have to ask the question “where am I?” again. It is hands-down one of the handiest devices ever invented.

There was a time when answering that question was not so simple.

That was before June 26, 1993 when the Department of Defense (DOD) launched the 24th NavStar satellite into orbit, completing the network known as the Global Positioning System (GPS). It was built by the Department of Defense and initially intended for use only by the military, but public pressure convinced the DOD to make the signals available to everyone everywhere.

Almost overnight, GPS devices began proliferating as manufacturers drove down the prices so that GPS receivers are now common not only in cars, but in phones, wristwatches and even dog collars.

The network has been improved over the years, but it still works basically the same.  A GPS receiver gathers signals from three or four satellites, does some really fast calculations and shows you exactly where in the world you are within a few hundred feet.

Combine that information with where you want to go and you get step-by-step and turn-by-turn directions and an estimate of how long it will take you to get there.  The biggest question facing drivers is whether to rely on the GPS receiver in your smartphone, have one added as an option to your new car, or buy a stand-alone device you can mount to your dashboard.

Some things to consider:

While most smartphones and tablets can help navigate and chart routes, they have their limitations. The speaker is not easy to hear, and the display is hard to read when you’re traveling at highway speeds.  And there is the battery issue.  The GPS function takes a lot of power, power that you may need to make a call late in the day.  Also, if your smartphone depends on mobile network connectivity to pinpoint your location, you’re limited to areas within your provider’s footprint.

Dedicated devices, on the other hand, usually have relatively large displays (3.5 inch and above) and come with speakers that are louder than those of most handsets.  And they get their signals directly from the satellites so you can use them virtually anywhere.  One thing to keep in mind with these devices -- particularly if they are installed in your car -- is that they need to be updated manually.  

Whichever way you choose to answer the question “Where am I?” it’s nice to know that you don’t really have to really ask it at all. Your GPS always knows.

For more interesting articles keep checking our Tank Talk Blog and make sure you stop by one of our gas station locations today!


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