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My Double Date with Dash


In our review of the Dash Express I talked about how I once had to double back on a route and was able to see the solid green traffic line on the road ahead. Remember that the solid green line represents data coming from other Dash drivers– in that case myself. While watching your own tracks is fun, seeing other tracks from other Dash drivers is even more fun. Recently, I went out on a double-date with Dash.

Dash Express GPSArmed with two Dash Express devices and two drivers with the same destination, this was the ultimate time to see just how fast the Dash network reacts to other drivers. Sure, my previous experience doubling back on my own route was fun, but was that really coming from the Dash network or just internally from my device itself? We set out to find some answers.

One driver left about five minutes before I did, with the same destination about 30 miles away entered into the GPS. Sure enough, as I started down the route I was met with a solid green line. A few miles down the road the solid line turned solid orange, where the driver ahead of me reported they had hit a few red lights and were in slightly heavier traffic… by gosh this thing really works! I mean it isn’t that I doubted it would work, but to see it happening in person is pretty amazing.

Our route took us on a couple of miles of city street, then over about 15 miles of interstate highway, and then a few more miles of city streets. Through the 30 mile journey there was only one time when the solid line (indicating data from other dash drivers) turned dotted. So with the other driver only five minutes ahead, that seemed like about the minimum amount of time for the data to be compiled from one device, transmitted up to the Dash servers, and then back down into another device. The other Dash driver who left first reported that they had dotted lines the whole trip indicating there wasn’t a third party or historical Dash data.

Something else happened when I arrived at our destination, about five minutes behind the first driver. We had another reason for the trip beyond this Dash experiment, and the first driver had left something at the starting location that was needed. So they returned back to our starting location with the Dash still running. I was actually able to pan the maps and follow the progress of the other Dash driver as they returned to the starting location. After they completed each road segment I could see the line jump from dotted to solid.

On their return trip, over the same leg as the original experiment, our solid lines had “expired” as the data was stale. I could could again watch the line change from dotted to solid as each road segment was completed.

It is one thing to read about how the technology works, but getting this first hand experience with another Dash device really increases the “wow” factor.

One Response

  1. Unfortunately, the underlying GPS needs work. It is slow to respond and a couple old addresses were wrong (like the Atlanta airport and JFK International) by miles. The actual routing capabilities are a couple of generations behind the current markete leaders.

    Phil Davis - April 12th, 2008

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