I’ve seen this too many times for it to be a fluke with one device or even model. The Garmin mobile gps devices make some insane decisions for routing from one place to another and I can’t decide whether it’s due to poor maps or a poor routing algorithm. Our family uses the StreetPilot c550 and HVA uses the nuvi series, and I’ve seen the same issue with both.
A good example is our most recent trip to Cleveland from Milan. A reasonable person (and Google) would take US23 south to either I80/90 or I475 to get to the turnpike. Our garmin directed us to get off US23 at Summerfield, take that to Sterns, to Lewis, to I-75, to I-280, and thence to the turnpike. For those not in the know, these are all two lane back roads and while possibly more direct, it would be MUCH slower than staying on the highway.
On our first trip to Cleveland, we had to pull into a residential street to get out the laptop and look up directions online, since our Garmin kept taking us around in circles AROUND our destination, without actually taking us TO our destination.
I’ve seen the same thing happen with the nuvi series, where crews have followed the gps onto rural, 2-lane roads that end up being more direct but much slower, or have gotten stuck in the loop-around route.
I’ve triple-checked the settings in several of the units and they are all clearly set to choose the fastest route with all obstacle avoidance turned off. The weird thing is that our StreetPilot has actually tried to route us a couple ways around Toledo on several different trips to Cleveland, with the same start and end points, and all settings the same.
I am curious if I would experience the same bugs with another manufacturer (TomTom, maybe), or if it is a deficiency in a shared routing algorithm.