Apologies if this isn't directly relevant to cycling, although it does involve a cycling product.
While in Dyserth, Wales I decided to see how my Edge 530 would navigate me home. This is the route it took me on: https://www.strava.com/activities/3812895019 (I've cropped the end for privacy). That is 11km longer and involves twice as much climbing as what Google Maps suggests: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/53.3020881,-3.4178364/53.2006867,-email@example.com,-3.3319621,12.38z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e1.
I did have popularity routing turned on in the settings and the avoidance settings were set to avoid toll roads (not applicable), unpaved roads (not applicable, unless the map data is bad), ferries (not applicable) and narrow trails (possibly applicable but some of the roads I was directed on are narrower than the more direct route). Major highways were not set to be avoided. The calculation method was set to minimise time.
However, playing around with these settings and setting it to navigate back there from home still seems to suggest the same route, no matter what permutation of avoidance / popularity settings I have (apart from not avoiding unpaved routes, but then it tries to go up a path which is only navigable on MTB and even then is not legal). I've also tried switching between the minimise distance, minimise time and minimise ascent routing settings to no avail.
Am I missing something here? If it's going to suggest routes like that it seems like a useless function.
Update Garmin support is investigating this.
Another update Just tried on another location. Navigating to the Ponderosa Cafe on the A542 / Horseshoe pass with popularity routing turned off and on the different minimise settings:
- Minimise ascent: - 579m of ascent, 32.2km distance, 2hr15
- Minimise distance: - 617m of ascent, 30.9km distance, 2hr21 and tries to take me up bloody Moel Arthur again!
- Minimise time: 553m of ascent, 27.7km, 2hr6
Interestingly, the minimise time setting actually minimises the ascent and distance as well. But again, none are close to the default Google route which is 23.5km, 356m ascent and 1hr37.
One other thing that is interesting / stupid is that I was actually at that cafe before and thought I'd see how it would direct me home on the minimise ascent setting (but didn't follow it). It tried doing the Moel Arthur route (minimise distance route above, but in reverse).