Tuesday 14 April 2009

Twitching Aids

After a couple of trips this weekend down to sites I'd never previously visited, it seems appropriate to plug a couple of great bits of technology that kept me moving on the roads...

First off, no-one likes getting stuck in traffic - and on a Bank Holiday, the chances are pretty high. However, my current SatNav (one of these, available for considerably less than RRP, and even less than that as a member of the IAM) has a function to receive traffic news from cameras monitoring main routes, recognises when delays are occurring, and automatically diverts you onto an alternative route if it's going to be quicker. It saved me from a long queue on the M3 on Saturday, and avoided the Dartford Crossing on Monday evening - OK, perhaps the latter isn't rocket science, but it kept me moving pretty effectively, and I'm confident it will continue to do the job over the summer.

Secondly, I'd recommend this speed camera database as an addon to your SatNav of choice. A subscription costs very little - indeed, if you pay a bit of attention and spot a new camera location (mobile or fixed) which isn't in the database, then you should get a free lifetime membership. It takes a bit of doing, since it's already pretty comprehensive, warning you of various different camera types (GATSO, SPECS, mobile, variable speed light, red light) together with the relevant limit. Now obviously, no-one travelling to see a bird ever breaks the speed limit, least of all me, but this offers some additional security for the event when you miss a sign coming into an unfamiliar village. If you do a lot of miles, it's well worth a look.

Finally, how did anyone ever drive anywhere before in-car audio supported MP3 CDs? One disc holds about 10 hours of music with no faffing about changing discs (or tapes - remember those?). This weekend's selection included:
All superb... turn it up!

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