Internal Vs. External Direction: Why Cars Still Need GPS

You can’t deny the effect that the smartphone has on a lot of things today, but most especially our driving. Gone are the days of using trail maps to find out where you need to be on a trek. All you need is to whip out your phone, use one of the hundreds of map apps, and you’re good to go.

But a lot of people in the auto industry would argue that even with all of that, there’s still good reason for car owners to invest in a reliable internal global positioning system (GPS) with their vehicles.

Here are the reasons.

The Price of Data

Admittedly, GPS isn’t something a lot of car owners keep in mind when buying a vehicle nowadays. Most vehicle upgrades in Utah have been leaning towards integrating the Internet into the vehicle, not improving the vehicle’s internal navigation. And while there IS nothing wrong with this feature, it does put your car at the mercy of a very simple problem: data failure.

You see, like most applications that require the internet, your maps app is only as good as your data allows it. And coverage of the internet isn’t necessarily worldwide – depending on your conditions, it can be extremely difficult to pin down. If you don’t have data or are stuck in an area without coverage, your car’s internal GPS can be a potential lifesaver.


Internal GPS is also a sound investment. While it’s true that most factory-included systems run the risk of being obsolete and out of date in a few years, it IS possible to have these systems upgraded or replaced by authorized dealers and technicians. This allows your car’s GPS to be updated in real-time, without any worries about backward compatibility or update issues.

It’s also cheap. Upgrading or replacing your internal GPS is more affordable at a dealer since they offer generalized models that can work with almost any car model, in addition to being a better fit than the factory-assigned one. There are even some models that seamlessly integrate themselves into your dash.

They Tell You Much More Than Directions

Car's built in GPS

Another nifty feature that most internal GPS systems have is to tell how your car’s relation to its environment affects your driving. Map apps on your phone specialize in telling you direction – they let you know how to get to your destination and nothing more. Internal GPS for cars often have features like Automatic Crash Response or Vehicle Diagnostics, which are helpful not only to tell you where you’re going but what the state of your car will be when you get there.

Knowing the possible hazards or environment that you’re driving towards can help you in more ways than letting you know to bring a jacket: it can also help you identify possible sources of damage with your vehicle after the excursion is over. This is especially handy in long drives where you’re not quite sure about how the trip will affect your car’s engine.

While having a portable GPS in your pocket does have its merits, there are times where you should let the car do most of the work. Not only does it not require the internet to function, but it’s a sound upgrade for the conscientious car owner that wants a good ride.

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