Sunday, October 05, 2008

Are Sat-Nav systems starting to behave like their celebrity voices?

With the prolific adoption of in-car satellite navigation systems that offer more and more functionality, many owners are customising theirs using celebrity voices in place of the normal mid-Atlantic sounding female voice. Reports from motorists are now starting to be collated and reveal a worrying trend that the systems are taking on the characteristic behaviour of the celebrities they sound like.

"Initially we received reports about the Mr T voiced Sat-Navs." said Austin Billingsworth of the RAC. "Several people have said that when they try to program them for journeys to an airport the devices refuse to plan a route and instead only respond with ‘I ain't gittin' on no plane, fool!’"

Initially thought to be a mohawk-wearing celebrity problem, the RAC has also received hundreds of reports from all over the country from people who use a variety of celebrity voices to spice up long journeys.

"Several users have reported that updating their systems to use the voice of George Michael has left any journey through London causing the system to become horribly confused around the area of Hampstead Heath," said Mr Billingsworth.

The RAC says that other drivers in London have reported that David Pleat voiced Sat-Navs repeatedly urge the motorist to slow down if they attempt to travel over 5mph in red-light districts.

"Many people still prefer a female voice giving them instructions," said Billingsworth. "But those that have installed Gillian Taylforth find that they are constantly being directed to roadside lay-bys for frequent rests, and that they should perhaps undo their trousers to be more comfortable."

Motoring organisations have stated that drivers should be wary of any unexpected commands from James Dean Sat-Navs and young women should be extremely wary of receiving a lift from anyone whose device is voiced by Edward Kennedy.