TECH: Volkswagen’s “Regular Routes” Guides You Even When Navigation is Off

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Volkswagen e-Golf

You might still have a tattered road atlas, but you likely haven’t used the thing in a long while. These days, we rely on our phones and in-dash navigation systems to get us where we need to go. These systems help route us around traffic jams, too, but only if they’re actively navigating.

If you’re driving a route you know with the navigation off, then you’ll get no warning if your route is unusually congested and an alternate route might be better. Volkswagen has a solution with its new Regular Routes that learns where you drive and directs you to better routes even when the navigation system is inactive.

Most people don’t turn on their navigation system to get to work. We know where we work and can get there without even thinking about the route. The problem comes when there’s heavy traffic.

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It’s easy enough to plan for the usual traffic, but sometimes it’s worse than expected. It may be because of road construction or an accident, but the result is the same. You’re stuck in your car, and you’re going to be late.

Volkswagen has what they’re calling learning-enabled navigation in the form of Regular Routes. It automatically memorizes the routes you drive the most and then scans the road ahead to see if there are any unexpected delays in your path.

If it determines there’s an issue, then it will let you know and allow you to select an alternate route to get you where you want to go. Here’s how it works.

Once you drive a route, it’s stored in the navigation system. The three most common routes driven on a given day and time are stored so drivers can quickly select their route and have the system monitor traffic.

Since you know where you’re going, it won’t pester you with needless directions, but instead operates silently in the background while you drive. The only time it will chime in is if there’s an issue and it thinks an alternate route is a better choice.

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This won’t cost you extra, either. Regular Routes comes standard in the latest generation of Discover Media and Discover Pro radio-navigation systems.

If your regular route includes a five-minute trip to the grocery store, then that’s not going to help you much, but for commuters, this is a great idea. Just tap your destination and the car will warn you if you’re going to hit heavy traffic. No more trying to guess if you should get off the highway and take the back way.

Nicole Wakelin

Nicole Wakelin