Friday, February 25, 2005

GPS on the bus

Madison Metro has fitted at least some of the buses with GPS systems and automatic bus stop announcements. As the bus gets close to a stop point, a cheerful male voice gives the intersection name, and maybe a little extra info: ("East High"). I guess they did this for the blind, though I'm learning the names of a lot of streets I never bothered to learn before.

The installers got the voice and the volume right. You can hear the voice if you want to, or ignore it--it doesn't demand attention. My stop is a left turn across East Washington, so the GPS unit doesn't get close enough to make the announcement until we're already there. I don't think that matters, since the turn is dramatic enough that you can recognize it without seeing it. Or hearing it.

The voice was a bit disconcerting the first day, but now I approve. I hope it was inexpensive. (Found the announcement--display is munged up, though)

No comments: