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Review: ALK CoPilot
jessie@jessiespilotescort
Does your program show exit numbers and farm to market roads when your trying to do your route? We have a lot of ramp overs to do and need exit numbers. And doesn't your program deviate a bunch? Our driver said it showed him floating in fields and many many wrong roads. We just ran Kingsport, TN to Burly, UT via back roads because we are oversize and had a lot of problems it trying to change our route.
malaki86
Getting CoPilot to follow an exact route can be tricky. It sometimes decides that you're "close enough" to either a waypoint or an actual stop, and goes on to the next point. The waypoints are the worst about this. But, if you have an exact exit you have to ramp-over, just put those exits as stops and you should be fine.

The only time I've had the software show me in the fields was when I've been on brand new highways. Other than that, it shows me locked in to where I am on the road.

Your driver may have a gps puck that's not getting a good lock, meaning it's "shadowing" his position in a different location. I have a BU-353 receiver. It's mounted outside of the truck, on top of the windshield visor mount. This gives a perfect view of the sky. And, yes, the BU-353 is completely weatherproof. It's been outside of the truck for 3+ years now.
DieselBoss
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessie@jessiespilotescort
Does your program show exit numbers and farm to market roads when your trying to do your route? We have a lot of ramp overs to do and need exit numbers. And doesn't your program deviate a bunch? Our driver said it showed him floating in fields and many many wrong roads. We just ran Kingsport, TN to Burly, UT via back roads because we are oversize and had a lot of problems it trying to change our route.
What Malaki said.

Also, what version is your driver running? If it is not version 8 then there is a higher likelihood of "running off in a field" syndrome due to older maps too.
malaki86
He stated on another post that he was running v8 Truck. However, he also said that it didn't have the exits listed, which the truck version definitely has.
Marvin Hlavac
Also, Jessie, keep in mind that version "8" is the current version (as of today, 2011). If you have version 9, 10, or 11, that's all old versions, as strange as it may sound. ALK realigned the version numbering of their PC product with the rest of its products. The PC version was a few version numbers ahead, already at v11, while the PPC, PND, etc, versions were still at v7. Now they all are v8. :-)
malaki86
I'd be interested to see what CoPilot 8 truck would do if I put in oversize dimensions for the truck setup, just to know if it would route you around underheight bridges and around weight restrictions and such.
DieselBoss
Quote:
Originally Posted by malaki86
I'd be interested to see what CoPilot 8 truck would do if I put in oversize dimensions for the truck setup, just to know if it would route you around underheight bridges and around weight restrictions and such.
It will do it. I did some testing for a driver that had a lot of 14' height and 10' wide loads and such. I'm not sure without driving every road in the country how "complete" it is for oversize, but I can say that it does it.
GoneNomad
I took the latest Android version (v9) of CoPilot Premium for a test drive Sunday night.

I was very favorably impressed by these things:

- How quickly CoPilot updated the route after I intentionally went off its pre-planned route. Some standalone Nav units and some other software keep trying to take you back to the original route for waaaaay too long. (google Nav is really bad about this, and so it Sygic GPS Nav http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/4907-anyone-ever-try-route-66-maps-navigation#post43956 ). However, CoPilot does make the same mistake as most other systems by never telling you that it has stopped trying to take you back to the pre-planned route and has updated the routing. In CoPilot's case, that is not as bad as the others because it does update the routing so quickly, so you can be safer in assuming that the directions it gives are most likely for the new route. But it should have at least an option to announce that the route has been updated. Really, how much trouble can it be to announce "Routing Updated" after it has recalculated the route. It would be better to know when the route has been updated, not when it is being recalculated (close but no cigar Garmin).

- The quality of the display when using the navigation mode on an interstate highway: the lane assist, the other helpful information displays. It is especially impressive in the 2-D mode (which IMO is more useful on very long trips) with the automatic view change functions enabled: the views it switches to when near a turn or a lane merge is large (easy to see) and is presented in a very timely manner.

But CoPilot also stumbles (sometimes badly) in some areas, even on or near an interstate that has been there for decades, including:

-CoPilot does not announce an upcoming turn if it is within its minimum distance of 0.3 miles from the previous turn. If the next turn is that close to the previous turn, CoPilot will not give ANY upcoming turn announcement at all. Though you might think 0.3 miles is seem so close you should be able to see the turn, in fact this can be a serious drawback in cases where the turns are close together. (CoPilot does have a minimum 50 yard setting for its "Turn Now" announcement, but that's not what I'm referring to here). It would be better if there would be a setting to dynamically adjust the upcoming turn announcement based on how far away the next turn is instead of just being able to chose fixed distances of 2 miles, 1 mile & 0.3 mile (my 4 year old Magellan 1412 dynamically figures this out, and Sygic: GPS Navigation seems to do that too), while also allowing (for example) a setting like 2 miles to be the maximum distance.

- CoPilot's speed limit warning function is a nice feature, but it's too bad CoPilot waits soooo long to update you when the speed limit has changed (in the case I tested, where the limit dropped from 70mph to 65mph). But this may be due to inaccurate info in its database rather than taking too long to figure out you are in the new speed zone, because it displayed an incorrect speed limit in another case, and once again these were not newly posted limits; these are interstate speed limits that have been the same for MANY years.

- CoPilot's ability to USEFULLY find nearby POIs is severely limited, not so much by inaccurate data, but mainly by what appears to be its adherence to a typical standalone GPS Nav unit way of doing things, which is predicated on having a tiny low-res display incapable of displaying much information at one time, splitting the results into many pages of partial results, when they could EASILY all be displayed at once (with nametags or better yet, icons) on a typical tablet or laptop display. I already went into this in more detail in these posts in another thread: www.laptopgpsworld.com/4193-copilot-live-v8-suggestions-p2#post43940 & www.laptopgpsworld.com/4193-copilot-live-v8-suggestions-p2#post43947 & www.laptopgpsworld.com/4193-copilot-live-v8-suggestions-p2#post43951

- CoPilot also sometimes has serious problems with its primary function: coming up with valid directions. In the case below, I was in a parking lot, but I was also very close to a street that was more-or-less correctly identified in CoPilot's map database (it looks like a stub extension of Forder Rd. on the CoPilot map below), and almost as close to another far more major street (US Hwy 61/67, aka: Lemay Ferry Rd.) that should have been where CoPilot directed me to, uh, "directly." Although the first "street" is actually part of the parking lot (not Forder Rd.) and though using that "road" would have been a very round-about way of getting to this destination, except that access to that road is very difficult from where I was, it too could have been part of a very roundabout route to the nearby destination I asked CoPilot to find: a JackintheBox less than a mile away. Here's a satellite image to show what the area actually looks like (dark green dots show the correct paths to the destination):

Instead, CoPilot gave me this impossible route:

...that would have required crashing through two fences, going down a steep embankment and across a deep culvert. Nice, huh?

Of course it is true that this test was to a destination so nearby I might not have needed any directions, that doesn't nullify that this example showed a serious flaw in CoPilot's ability to find a route to a destination that is in its POI database, even one that close to a major highway (US 61/67) that passes through an urban area.


My overall assessment so far is that CoPilot may be more useful for long trips on taken mainly on major highways than for other types of trips or for finding nearby POIs.
Attached Images
copilot-screenshot_2012-08-19-21-04-33.jpg   google-map-jackinthebox-area.jpg  
GoneNomad
In addition to the other problems I mentioned above,
CoPilot also shows duplicates in list of POIs, like these examples:








They also need to have a definitive way to scroll through this list, because the current scheme of trying to "touch & drag" (or whatever the correct term is) is FAR too prone to select one of the entries in the list instead of scrolling through the list.

How does the laptop version work in this situation? Does it have a scroll bar like any normal Windows program?
Attached Images
copilot-screenshot_2012-08-21-12-38-36.jpg   copilot-screenshot_2012-08-21-12-39-44.jpg   copilot-screenshot_2012-08-21-12-40-44.jpg   copilot-screenshot_2012-08-21-12-40-52.jpg  
ron4adams
I am new to copilot and on first use I wanted to stop the navigation of a saved trip, but didn't want to exit the app. I never could discover how to make that happen. Is there a simple way to move between the navigation screen and the plan/edit screen?
GoneNomad
Ron - Ken might know...

I haven't used CoPilot for anything but minor testing in a long time, but IIRC, the last version I tried did provide a way to do that... I'm sure there was a way to stop the navigation and go back to the main Copilot screen.

Maybe this support article is helpful?

https://support.copilotpro.com/en/support/solutions/articles/19000086762-clearing-the-current-trip
ron4adams
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
Ron - Ken might know...

I haven't used CoPilot for anything but minor testing in a long time, but IIRC, the last version I tried did provide a way to do that... I'm sure there was a way to stop the navigation and go back to the main Copilot screen.

Maybe this support article is helpful?

https://support.copilotpro.com/en/support/solutions/articles/19000086762-clearing-the-current-trip
Well dah, I feel kind of dumb. I found that just tapping on the left top three dots and selecting "plan a trip" takes you to the trip from which you were navigating.
Ken in Regina


...ken...
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