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Old 10-13-2018, 04:30 PM
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Arrow New type of vehicle GPS navigation system

Has anyone seen little these things?

A pilot friend said a similar style of guidance is used on some airplanes.

Suitable for bicycles, ATVs/UTVs, motorcycles, etc. Seems like it could be used in a car too? Not sure why it couldn't?

LINK => Beeline Moto | Beeline

About $150 for the black plastic version, which I think is a bit pricy, but I have one on pre-order because I tend to do stupid things and buy crap I don't actually need.

Seems like a very intuitive piece of gear with great battery life. Works in a couple different modes, including route directions or even as a basic compass.

It does have, via 'smartphone' interface, route planning. It can follow GPX imported routes. I like that it works 'offline' and doesn't require an sort of cellphone data plan use.

[video=youtube;bxGap3BrTFk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxGap3BrTFk[/video]

[video=youtube;8mfAW0Ruh-E]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mfAW0Ruh-E[/video]
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:22 AM
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Default Re: New type of vehicle GPS navigation system

Just returned from my northern California trip visiting Melen in San Jose.

2 motorcycle related packages were waiting for me upon my arrival at home.

BEELINE was the first I opened. It looks interesting and could be fun. Or frustrating. Time will tell.

Photos show what is in the box. Doesn't show the fact that you need a smart phone App to operate the Beeline. Doesn't show that you need to upload GPX maps from your computer/smart phone. Not even sure if it will work with FURKOT yet but we'll get to that.

Initial impressions only in this post.

Unit looks kinda cheap, and looks like a light drizzle would probably kill the electronics as there is nothing that appears to be water resistant, let alone waterproof, about this thing. BUT I KNEW THAT when I ordered it. There was no water proof claim.

Screen seems visible enough, but not sure what it will look like in sunlight.

Buttons and on-screen seem intuitive.

Charging base is permanently attached to the charging cable, I think it should use a micro USB port to attach to a cable. The unit locks into the charging base with a 1/8th turn.

I think this probably should be mounted high so it is in (or very near) the field of view of the rider because (I think) it could be easy to miss a turn, especially in urban settings. Only actual use will tell me if this theory is true, or not.

When placing your order you were given your choice of 1 of several type of mounts. I opted for the RAM Ball mount. The unit locks into the mount with a 1/8th turn. Thoughtfully the designers of the mount made it adjustable via a Phillips screw adjustment so it can rotate separate from the mount. Not so much an issue with the RAM ball style mounts but could be an issue with some of the other mount systems. It allows you to mount it with the top button oriented in the forward/up position, which seems like it might be important?

It should be noted that that charging base cannot be mounted to the motorcycle/bike mount. A better design would have allowed the mounting base to mount to the bike/motorcycle mount. That would have allowed it to be powered while riding. Seems it would have been simple enough to incorporate that into the design by moulding the 1/8th turn lock lugs into the back of the charging base!

In theory this could also be used in a CAR but it was designed for the bicycle, scooter and motorcycle markets in England.



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Old 09-10-2019, 12:09 PM
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Default Re: New type of vehicle GPS navigation system

Ti hell with the car. I need such a device to attach to my CAR KEYS!!!!!
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: New type of vehicle GPS navigation system

Still trying to figure this thing out. I'm in the "playing with the software" phase of using it. So not actually using it. Can't quite seem to get the file to import properly.




Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancSevin View Post
Ti hell with the car. I need such a device to attach to my CAR KEYS!!!!!
Well it might get you back to your car in the parking lot if you forgot where you parked it
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: New type of vehicle GPS navigation system

I tried, and failed, several times using FURKOT maps that I had previously downloaded as .GPX files.

Then I tried with a NEWLY DOWNLOADED map from FURKOT and that worked. Figuring it was a fluke, I made a map in FURKOT to my doctor's office, where I will be going tomorrow morning. Downloaded it from the FURKOT website to my computer. AirDropped it from my computer to my iPhone. Opened it in Beeline's iPhone App and it worked.

Did it again with another map, that worked too.

So that seems to be the magic trick to get it to work? I dunno? But I have it so it seemingly works.


So wish me luck. I'm going off on the 1st official test ride this morning.

I'm heading to a doctor's appointment (just routine, no issues with health) in a few minutes. BEELINE will guide me there. Its about a 15 mile ride. I know the route by heart. But I'm going to follow the BEELINE instructions, right or wrong, and see if it works. How it works. If it works.

But I'm thinking it might be a nifty little device after all.

I will report back later if I can find my way back home
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: New type of vehicle GPS navigation system

Initial test: FAIL

Clearly this is made for lower speeds.

I missed a RIGHT HAND turn because I didn’t have enough warning to make the turn onto the road it wanted me to turn onto.

IT IS WORTH NOTING that I was traveling north on State line road. The roadway is the dividing line between Illinois (left side) and Indiana (right side). My destination was inside Indiana. But for several miles the directions for each successive turn after that missed right hand turn (back into Indiana) were directing me to turn left, into Illinois. Also of note, state line road is the most direct and the only thru road in the area thru which I was traveling.

On at least 3, possibly 4, instances it directed me to turn into farm fields where there was NO ROAD and where there has never been a road for for at least as long as I’ve been alive (59 years!)

On at least 3, possibly many more, instances the direction to turn actually occurred a couple hundred feet after the turn. That said I did get warning that the turn was coming up, but the specific turn instruction occurred after the intersection by 100 to 300 feet. Not a big deal in the rural area where I was riding but could be a serious problem in a city!

While I was 3+ miles from my destination, but on the actual roadway of the destination, I was directed to turn off the roadway 4 or 5 times onto roads that were neighborhood roads which did not have a thru passage out the other side or a logical way to get to the destination point because there is a limited access to the destination due to a river that has limited crossing points.

At about the 2.2 mile mark away from my destination it began navigating me directly to the destination.


Now all that said I will try again.

In fact I’m going to have it try to get me home from my doctors appointment. It’s worth a try. Maybe?
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  #7  
Old 09-11-2019, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: New type of vehicle GPS navigation system

OK so the first test, riding to my doctor's appointment, as described above, was a complete FAIL

Leaving the doctor's appointment to go home I had a couple options.
Option 1: Pick the same route, but choose the REVERSE THE ROUTE option
Option 2: Choose my home address and let it choose the path

I selected Option 2, checked the map, decided I did not want to go that way. Just a personal choice, it is a clear cut route, no problem with it, just not scenic.

Returning to my Options, I selected Option 1, with the REVERSE THE ROUTE option selected.

Started out and all was going along smoothly. Got to a point where I thought I should turn but I was directed to continue straight through an intersection. I went through it. Pretty much in the middle of the block AFTER that intersection and BEFORE then next one I was directed to turn! So 1/2 way between 2 streets and into the yard of some unknown homeowner I was supposed to turn. Hmmm? Should I ... or shouldn't I turn this into an off-road ADV trip? My bike is set up for off-road so why not?

Well, discretion got the best of me and I opted to go 1/2 block forward and turn right. As soon as I made that right turn the Beeline went into "recalculating" mode.

I opted to turn around and go back to the intersection where I thought I should turn. Made the turn there, followed the directions home the remainder of the way.

Of interest are several things.
  1. The REVERSE ROUTE had me take DIFFERENT STREETS than the original route. Not a problem, but still odd.
  2. The visual warning to turn (the actual ^ indicator turns in the direction of the turn) occurs between 0.03 and 0.02 miles from the turn. Roughly 100 to 150 feet before the turn. When traveling 45+ mph that is a problem!!!
  3. The locations of the intersections, while some are accurate, others are off by 50 to 200+ feet. In every case the location of the intersection where I needed to make a turn was indicated AFTER the physical intersection and often between 2 different intersections. Not sure if this is due to a latency issue between the phone and the Beeline? Using the same mapping software on other navigation tools the roads seem to be spot on.
  4. The Beeline is using high speed data via your smartphone, so if you are in rural areas with lack of signal, or 'roaming' out of your network, you may have serious issues! Would the Beeline simply have not worked in many areas of our recent 4000 mile trip around the Great Lakes as many places we drove through had NO signal? Just as bad, as I was on an international phone plan my data was was limited and the Beeline seems to require an active data connection so I might have used up my month's worth of international data allocation during the first couple of days!?!
  5. You MUST constantly watch the Beeline for directions. This is especially true in city/suburban areas with multiple close streets. Unlike other navigation that gives both AUDIO and VISUAL clues, the Beeline ONLY gives VISUAL cues. For a motorcycle this could be a fatal flaw???


TEST #2: FAILURE


I really want to like this thing.

I'm thinking I will be trying to return it.

It is a nifty device.

For bicycles.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: New type of vehicle GPS navigation system

The more I think about it the more I believe that the Beeline is possibly unsafe for motorcycle use. I say possibly.

IF the Beeline is mounted within the normal LINE OF SIGHT of the roadway it could work.

But remember this is a VISUAL device with zero audio cues to alert you to an upcoming turn. That means you need to focus a good bit of visual attention onto the Beeline. If you look DOWN you are taking your attention off the road and traffic. Many (most) images on the Beeline website and Beeline Instagram account that show them mounted on motorcycles have them mounted near the instrument cluster, on the handlebars at the center point, so clearly forcing you to look DOWN. I just don't see that as a good thing.

Others may disagree. I don't consider myself an expert in safety or an expert rider. Just makes no sense to me.

I had mine mounted HIGH, just below the top edge of my tall Madstad touring windshield so it was unnecessary for me to lower my whole head to view the Beeline but I did find that I was focusing a lot of attention on it as I neared waypoints and turns. I intentionally chose a very rural route without much traffic for the test.

Your uses and experiences may be different. So be it. Some people don't wear helmets or protective gear so who am I to say what is safe/unsafe? Ride your ride. Use this or not. I'm hoping they let me send it back for a refund.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: New type of vehicle GPS navigation system

I'm not a fan of that UI - seems like an oversimplification to me. Also, lacks one important navigational item - context.
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: New type of vehicle GPS navigation system

I think its actually fine for pedal bikes and scooters.

It was developed in the UK and someone figured out it might work on a motorcycle too. They started selling a version for motorcycles. Not sure what the differences are. What I do think is that the turn alert, as shown by the ^ symbol, does not give enough notice.

Not sure how this thing would react at a confusing intersection with more than a cross street. I did encounter a roundabout in my morning travel and was confused, but I'm sure that was more user error. As I said, you have to focus on this thing to tell you what to do, which takes your eye off the road. My nav systems, even the free Scenic motorcycle app for an iPhone will tell you "at the roundabout take the 2nd exit ..." But this is totally visual. If I was a betting man, I would guess that more than a few wrecks will happen by users looking at the little dial.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: New type of vehicle GPS navigation system

Pretty much beating up this product. Used it again last night to guide me to the fencing club, another route that I know by heart.

I had it set to just use the directional arrow guidance, rather than the turn by turn "route guidance" system. The directional arrow guidance just has the ^ arrow pointing toward the destination and gives you a miles to destination. But it does not tell you which roads to take. So its just a general guide. I suppose it could be useful to get you to a distant town or city where you don't have a specific address or you just want to go out for a ride to a general area. I won't criticize the function.

But what I found was that I tended to focus my eyes on the Beeline when there was no reason to do so.

This confirms my prior uses where I pointed out that this is a VISUAL device and requires you to look at it. I think too much.

In any case I adjusted my RAM mount arm as high as possible so the Beeline was well above my instrument cluster. I can see it at the bottom edge of my field of view in my full face helmet. But while I can see it, I need to shift my eyes and focus on it, to use it. My natural line of sight is about an inch above the top of the Madstad windscreen.

It should be noted that the Beeline install videos and Beeline mount instruction videos clearly show the Beeline mounted on the handlebars which would force you to look down. Not an issue to "glance" down at your instruments, but if you have this set for ROUTE navigation it is giving you turn-by-turn instructions. That requires focus. And if you are focused on the center of your bars below the instrument cluster then you are not looking at the traffic.

After using this I really think that AUDIO and visual cues are probably the best choice for motorcycle navigation.

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