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SatNav and trees, what a nightmare

Discussion in '2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology' started by harlenm, July 29, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. harlenm

    harlenm Active Member

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    Ok, I'll start this by saying the 2011 Ex is the 4th car I've personally owned with a factory nav system. Currently have an 08 Acura RDX, previous ones were a 06 Acura TSX, and a 09 Mazda6. I've also driven regularly a 10 Infiniti FX35 that my parents own.

    The Ex is the first one that I've ever used that will actually lose my position if I drive under a tree. It was so bad on my way home today that for about 10 miles, the car had no idea where I was, and had me driving in the middle of the woods 100's of yards from where I actually was.

    Now, my $200 cell phone can track me to within 12 feet of my location, why can't a $47,000 car?

    Needless to say I'm very disappointed in the nav system so far. If I was actually looking for an address, I never would have found it.

    This car has a lot of new tech in it, and most of it works very well. But SatNavs have been around for a long time, it should work flawlessly 99.9% of the time.
     
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  3. harlenm

    harlenm Active Member

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    Sorry I was wrong, the best I've ever seen on my phone was 13 feet.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. calb

    calb Active Member

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    I'm wondering if there is something up with the antennae? A few people were complaining about the lack of radio reception in spots where other cars they had, had no problem.
     
  5. VinceL

    VinceL Well-Known Member

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    I was beginning to think the same thing.

    My old Garmin can 'see' the satellites sitting between the front seats on the armrest (with minimal clear view of the sky), why is an antenna mounted on top of a vehicle having so much difficulty?
     
  6. gdecamp

    gdecamp Active Member

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    No question, the NAV is the worst part of the MFT...in my opinioin anyway. It is very slow when you try to type in a destination...terrible. I have to say though that it does get me to where I want to go, so far anyway.

    My house is 150 ft away from where it says it should be which is good if someone steals my Explorer and goes "Home" to rob my house. As a matter of fact if someone does that and goes to the house it says is my home they will wind up at my neighbors place, he is head of a task force in the FBI...good luck!! :D :usa:
     
  7. charliez

    charliez Member

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    I've experienced the same issue. My old BMW had inertial navigation as backup. When it lost GPS temporarily, the inertial navigation provides updates. This allows it to continue showing location even under a concrete tunnel.

    It seems the Ford navigation system lacks the inertial navigation backup. This is really something that should be built into the system.

    Maybe there are export restrictions on the "gyro" technology (could be dual used as missile technology) that Ford decided to just go "bare" :).

    What BMW could be doing is providing different internal nav modules where it's allowed.
     
  8. Sgt1411

    Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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    When I went to the dealer to get the last MFT v2.8 update the tech mentioned he had found several Diagnostic Trouble Code Messages showing the GPS module had lost connection with MFT on several occasions.

    I have been watching it and I randomly get the GPS icon with the X across it when Im in clear view of the sky and have been out mobile for long enough to acquire the satellites.

    He was going to replace the GPS module but Ford would not cover it under warranty so I am going to try again with the v2.11 upgrade.

    Given what others are saying it may be a faulty GPS hardware part.
     
  9. harlenm

    harlenm Active Member

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    Why would Ford not cover replacing a part that the dealer feels is defective?
     
  10. calb

    calb Active Member

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    Exactly - I was going to ask the same thing. Sounds like either they know the real cure (and the problem) or they aren't honoring their warranty?
     
  11. Sgt1411

    Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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    I asked the exact same question but didnt get a proper response. Apparently SYNC Tech Support gave the tech a list of troubleshooting tests and wanted it monitored to see if it improved with v2.8 update.

    Im going to request a GPS module replacement if the Tech finds more DTC when I get the v2.11 update
     
  12. Bill #5 Explorer

    Bill #5 Explorer Well-Known Member

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    This is my 4th Explorer in 8 years. I love it! Best one ever. The navigation system sucks.
     
  13. harlenm

    harlenm Active Member

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    Drove on a heavily wooded street today without an issue. Will try the same road that was causing problems on Friday tomorrow morning.
     
  14. w1kedz

    w1kedz Guest

    We took a trip to Fort Bragg and there is a 15 mile portion that is heavily wooded (basically a dome of trees over you, it is actually almost dark during mid day sun). MFT Navi never lost a beat, I would think that the OP's issue is hardware related. I don't think Navi has ever had me off my actual location.

    The traffic integration with the Navi also is the best thing we've ever used. It's taken me on routes I didn't know existed, and is always within 2 or 3 minutes of it's estimated arrival time (so far as of 10k miles).
     
  15. calb

    calb Active Member

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    Funny you say that - looking at Dodge as a comparison, I was jealous of their Garmin. Mind you, I haven't ruled Dodge (or anyone out) at this stage, though I really do like the Explorer - just wish quality (mostly MFT) was better.
     
  16. harlenm

    harlenm Active Member

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    Was better today, still lost gps a few times, but only for a few seconds. Sunny today, was raining on Friday, if that matters.

    Here is what the road is like.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. jrmexplorer

    jrmexplorer Well-Known Member

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    I believe your phone can pinpoint you to 13 feet because it also uses terrestrial cellular signals to triangulate your position. Your phone is also more reliable because cellular signals aren't as easily interfered with and lost as GPS signals.

    To use GPS you must have line of sight to 4 satellites.

    Mine sometimes loses a satellite or two and has my direction wrong, but still following the road.

    I started having some problems with my GPS taking longer and longer to acquire. Updating to 2.11 seems to have helped some.
     
  18. harlenm

    harlenm Active Member

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    It uses cellular signal to get an approximate location, then uses gps to get an exact location. You can see that I'm currently using 9 out of 9 satellites.
     
  19. w1kedz

    w1kedz Guest

    As long as you don't have a dependance on "Altitude" measurements then only 3 sats are required for location.
     
  20. harlenm

    harlenm Active Member

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    Red X indicates my actual location. This is really frustrating me.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. jrmexplorer

    jrmexplorer Well-Known Member

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    Have you sent a private message to the FordIVT team yet? I would have Rebecca look into it.

    -J
     

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