Hertz was one of the first Car Rental companies to introduce in-car navigation systems called NeverLost, way back when. The problem was that even in the second decade of the 21st century, they were still using the navigation system from the 90s. It was slow and cumbersome to use. Had no touchscreen and virtually no options such as ‘use freeways’, ‘fastest route’ etc. Quite frankly I felt better off using Google Maps on my phone, rather than using Mr. NeverLost.
I rented a car from Hertz yesterday and to my pleasant surprise, there was a new NeverLost system in it. It looked like a standard navigation device that one finds in the market today. It was built by the same company as before – Navteq and still called NeverLost. What’s more, it had a touchscreen. It still had some buttons below the screen, so it is not fully touchscreen in its features. It also had features that allowed me to pick between ‘Shortest Route’, ‘Most use of Freeways’ and ‘Avoid Freeways’. Finally, a modern system in a Hertz car.
I am not fully satisfied though with what they have. I am not difficult to please, but the performance of the device was really bad. It took several minutes to get off the initial splash screen. Then it stayed on the ‘Navteq’ screen for another couple of minutes. It took multiple minutes before it got to the prompt screen that asked me to input my destination. I was already out of the airports parking lot before I could even start putting in the address. My three year old Garmin at home is much faster. I also had problems with the layout of the screen. The display of the directions was not intuitive at all. It was very difficult to determine from the display when the street name it was showing on the top of the screen was the name of the street I was currently on and when it was the street I needed to turn or exit on to. It seemed to toggle between the two and I could never tell when it did that. The display showing the next turn or how far the next turn was in a small corner on the top left. The voice prompts too still seemed to be the old voice prompts from the old device. They kept talking about the next turn will be followed by another. At some exits, it asked me to bear right or left if I was not to take the exit. That too was very confusing.
All in all, while I am happy that Hertz has finally arrived in the 21st century, I am sorry to say that they are still in the early 2000’s.
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