Follow your nose: human vs satnav

Over the last two years of driving around London we have relied heavily on our sat nav-s, not only to guide us through unfamiliar areas but also, and this is important, through the use of satellite technology rather than random serendipity, to guide us around the inevitable soul destroying traffic clogging up London.

A strange phenomenon has revealed itself to us about the human relationship with sat nav-s. This is not limited to our male customers but the condition presents more often with them. It begins with a series of surprised little noises – not wanting to make a scene but wanting us to know that they wouldn’t have come this way. It then, particularly in periods of heavy traffic when the route can be unexpected, quickly develops in to instructions posed as questions, such as “I would think the quickest route would be down Embankment, wouldn’t you?”

Eventually this either ends up with direct instructions, which we will follow as the customer is paying us for our time, or a retreat back to the small surprise noises. Never after we have explained that the sat nav is analyzing thousands of routes and live traffic information to decide our route, has a satnav-doubting customer truly surrendered.

So, whilst technology has taken over in so many areas of our lives, on the road it seems, we would still rather follow our nose.

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