Navigation

navigation

After entering your destination, this screen can be the most non-intuitive Navigation operation.  Don’t select the destination – but instead, select “Navigate To”


Go directly to:  Installation       Backing up / Updating your SD card       Compass

FCA sure doesn’t help clear the confusion many Spider owners have thinking that our systems will compare with the Uconnect® systems in all of the other Chrysler / Dodge / Jeep / Ram / Fiat vehicles that they might already be familiar with, including the many informative app screens, Garmin navigation, Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay® and Climate control screens.   Like every other electronic module in the car except for the ECU, our 124 Spider CMUs  (Connectivity Master Unit a.k.a. the Infotainment System) are actual Mazda MX-5 components, which is why they have nothing to do with Uconnect systems.

The firmware for every CMU includes NNG’s iGO navigation software, but the option is useless until a Nav SD card containing your country’s NAVTEQ (a Nokia company) map data, is inserted in the SD card slot.

HERE is now the provider of NAVTEQ map data and it was also a Nokia company, but guess what Nokia did in August 2015?  On August 3, 2015 Nokia announced an agreement to sell HERE to a consortium of three German automotive companies, Audi AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG, at an enterprise value of 2.8 billion euros. The consortium will jointly own HERE, which will continue to operate as a separate business and serve other customers besides its owners.

If you purchase your vehicle with the 7″ display screen, but without the Navigation option, know that you simply need to procure the Fiat Navigation SD card (Mopar Part # 68366118AA; don’t get the Mazda or Toyota Scion version!) to enable most of the Navigation features. Since you also wont have the XM option  (which requires a “shark fin” antenna on your trunk lid), which is apparently needed to receive live traffic updates, that will be the feature that will not be available to you.

I didn’t realize I wouldn’t be able to get live traffic updates when I purchased my SD card, but nevertheless it is nice:

  • Not having to attach an extraneous GPS device to my windshield in this small vehicle
  • Having your audio routing instructions overriding your music and routed to your headrest speaker
  • Having your visual routing instructions to a programmed destination appear in the status bar, even when you are displaying screens not Navigation related
  • Having upcoming streets appear in the status bar, even when no destination has been programmed, and even when you are displaying screens not Navigation related
  • Having visual speed limit warnings, as well as notification of red light/speed cameras show up while in the Navigation screen

Can be annoying (but can be turned off in settings):

  • Audio speed limit warnings can get annoying as they will stop when you slow down, but resume if you again exceed the speed limit
  • Audio red light/speed camera warnings will continue to be announced until you have exited that intersection

If your car came with fully-functional Navigation:

  • You will be notified of upcoming traffic issues, even if you have no planned route in the NAV
  • You will be offered alternative routes to get around traffic and construction delays
  • According to this Feature Availability document, if your vehicle has the Bose system, your Spider is prepped for installing the CD player that Fiat doesn’t factory-install, like Mazda does. “Remote CD Prep” probably means that the wiring harness (also used in the Grand Touring MX-5) is tucked in near the rear bulkhead

According to many official Fiat publications, live traffic data is actually supposed to be provided via FM Radio Data System (RDS) data that is…

  • presumably already programmed into the Infotainment software  (but disabled)
  • broadcast as a free service at many large-city FM & HD radio stations
  • was planned for the 124 Spider, based on the owner’s manual (click to enlarge)…

real-time-traffic

  • Fiat websites and corporate materials (aside from the owner’s and users’s manuals) still claim that this feature is programmed into our Infotainment systems, as evidenced in this screen shot taken 3/25/2017 (click to enlarge)…

nav live traffic


Make sure the Navigation SD card that you purchase matches the region of your firmware (which hopefully is the region you reside in).  You can find your OS firmware version and region by selecting  Settings > System > About > Version Information.  As an example, my current version is  56.00.521 NA N, deciphered as:

Region & SatNav Suffix Legend
NA
is for North America, USA, Canada, Mexico regions ONLY  ⇐ mine
EU is for Europe, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia regions
4A or ADR is for Australia/NZ/Thailand/Philippines/South Africa/South America/Oceania regions
JP is for Japan ONLY

N is the ‘SatNav’ protocol belonging to NNG (for all regions except JP)  ⇐ mine
M is the ‘SatNav’ protocol belonging to Matsukone  (exclusively for JP)

If you find your system rebooting on its own once in a while, especially near airports or large microwave towers, it is most likely strong electromagnetic interference that is disrupting the system. Airport radar or similar. My Mio C230 GPS unit was really bad in that regards due to very poor shielding. Mazda has admitted to poor shielding in the North American models, and that is the main reason why WiFi had to be disabled.

It’s not Google…

The European origins of the iGo software sure become evident when programming a new route.  If you are going to program a new route to a state other than the one you are currently in, you will soon find out that common sense logic is not applicable here and that there is no [state] field for you to choose your destination state, nor can you enter your destination zip code in the [zip code] field as a means of programming the address, since the only allowable zip codes that can be entered are those within the current state.  Instead, get this, you have to select the [country] field and find your destination state.  Rather than entering “United States” and selecting amongst all 50 states, my preferred shortcut is to instead enter the first two or three letters of the state name (not the Post office two-letter abbreviation), and select from the much abbreviated list.  Once that is done, then you can enter a zip code or a city name as logic would dictate.


Another non-intuitive operation is saving your destination as a favorite and renaming it to something you’ll later recognize. You would think there would be some means of selecting those options while you are at the screen for your destination, but nope – you need to instead:

Add current location or destination as a favorite:

  1. Select FAVORITES from the Navigation menu or by pressing the Favorites commander button and scrolling over to the NAV tab.
  2. Select ADD/EDIT NAVIGATION FAVORITES.
  3. Select ADD CURRENT LOCATION to add the current location to your Favorites list.
  4. Select ADD CURRENT DESTINATION to add the current destination to your Favorites list.
  5. Select ADD FROM CONTACT to add a contact address to Favorites list; press name of contact to be added.

Then to change the name of a favorite destination:

  1. Select ADD/EDIT NAVIGATION FAVORITES.
  2. Select RENAME.
  3. Select the destination you want to rename; keyboard is displayed.
  4. Input new name.
  5. Select OK to store new name.

fav_navi

fav_navi_add


Installation

navigation button
⇓  To install your SD card, just push down, at the same time trying to pull out the top portion of the SD cover, which is to the left of your USB ports.  The cover is hinged on the bottom, which is why you want to concentrate on the top-side.  However, if you would rather not risk breaking your fingernail, using a flat-blade screwdriver and gently prying the top of the cover away at the indent, is much easier!

sd-card-slotsd-card-slot-open⇓  I personally feel that Mazda should have retained the SD card slot cover design they had in the 2014 models with the convenient finger pull (shown below).usb-ports-2014

  • After opening, insert your SD card label-side up, until it latches in
  • Close the cover and either start your car or push the start button once (without pushing in the clutch or brake) to put the car in auxiliary (AUX) mode
  • Select Navigation from the main menu and observe that Navigation starts up
  • Navigation will load in 30 to 90 seconds
  • The GPS will find satellites in 1 – 5 minutes, display a map indicating your location and be ready to program in a destination
  • To remove the SD card, don’t just pull the edge of the card, but instead push the card in and allowing it to eject partway – then you can pull it out.

Thoughts:

  • I wonder if the dealers convinced Mazda to “hide” the SD slot so that they could get customers to pay for “installation” of the Nav option 😉
  • Then again, maybe being so obvious with the slot cover labelled “SD”, too many people tried loading music files or otherwise corrupting the Nav card and running up the warranty bill.


Backing up / Updating your SD card Maps

[Updated 11/17/2016, 1/28/2017, 3/1/2017]

A new SD Nav card has the following 2 files in the contents folder:

cardnotused.txt.sgn
cardnotused.txt

and naturally, you can not use the the Fiat Connect Toolbox to backup or update the Nav card in this NEW state.  It must be activated with your VIN number first by installing it into your vehicle.  When the CMU detects a new SD Nav card in it’s slot:

  • those 2 files are deleted
  • an encrypted file device.nng (containing your initial GPS fix, VIN number, etc.) is created in the license folder
  • the card is now ready to be updated via Fiat Connect Toolbox
If you purchase a Nav card and it doesn’t work (you get the message “Invalid SD card”), after ensuring that the write-protect lock isn’t engaged (tab should be “up”), look in the license folder and see if it contains the device.nng file.  If it does, you may have actually purchased a “used” card that is either VIN-half-locked or VIN-locked, as per the illustration below.

 

35310778432_5da14216e5_z

It’s now March of 2017 and I’ve given up on the North American Fiat 124 Spider Connect site ever working, even though that is the link Fiat is emailing to new vehicle purchasers. The Mazda and Fiat Connect Toolbox (map update) sites are actually managed by HERE MapCare.  I suspect that there may be a VIN platform verification in place (NE or NF), since I’ve verified that the Mazda Toolbox won’t accommodate the Fiat SD card.

Thanks to a European blog reader (thanks Andrea!), I discovered that North American 124 owners can go to the European Fiat 124 Spider Connect site to download Toolbox (runs in Windows, but an OSX version is now also available) and alerted all my blog readers of this:

  • works just fine with your North American SD card and probably most other global regions as well
  • has been up for quite awhile and has a  September 2016  January 2017 map update available!  
  • backing up and restoring your card can be done there as well

If you have a PC, you can manually copy all files in the SD to a folder within your Documents folder. Better engage the lock on the SD card before you do that with a Mac though, to prevent incompatible files from being added to the card.

The cards may look like mass-produced copies from a master, but each one is actually produced individually so that the license is locked to an embedded CID number (similar to a serial number) put there by the SD card manufacturer.  Once you’ve inserted the card in your vehicle and driven it 62 miles (100 km), your card becomes VIN-locked (rather than CID-locked), meaning it will only work in your vehicle. This would be an ideal time to backup your Nav card once again, as you will now be able to restore the files onto a different SD card should your original card become unusable, and that copy will also function for your vehicle only.  

One large advantage to this ability is that you can purchase an Ultra SDHC Class 10 card (faster reads), and after formatting it FAT 32 and copying the files from your original VIN-locked card onto it, use that card instead – so that, in theory, your Nav boots up quicker.   The hardware is said not to be compatible with SDXC though, so don’t try those cards (this may not be the case for 2017 vehicles and newer, but I’ve yet to confirm).

Based on my experience, if the backup-card copy (which will also be VIN-locked to your car) doesn’t work in your vehicle directly, it should after you update the card using the 124 Spider Toolbox .   Then you are able to put aside your original card in case you ever need Navigation related warranty work done or need to create another backup. Now that I’ve switched to my Ultra SD card copy, I don’t feel that my Navigation loads up any quicker, but it could be that the newer map version has more data to load into memory.

So just to reiterate…

  • restoring the card using the Toolbox is different than copying the card
  • after your card is VIN-locked, the license is no longer paired to the CID, so copies of your card will also work in your vehicle
  • you can not add your own files (music, audio books, etc.) to these cards as that will result in errors

The Mazda diagram below explains why you shouldn’t try to use your Nav card in vehicles other than the one your card is intended for…


sd-card-vin-lock


Compass

[Updated 11/24/2016]

25-2017-fiat-124-spider-fd-1

Another of the main complaints I, and many others, have with this system is the lack of a compass.  If you don’t have Navigation, you’re shown a nice compass screen in an effort to entice you to purchase/install the Nav SD card so that you’ll then have Navigation, and guess what, you’ll never see that (or any other) nice compass again, at least not while you’re in the predominant 3D cockpit view.  In 2D-North Up view, you’ll be able to visualize the direction you are travelling, similar to the Where Am I view, but a simple compass, where the red needle pointer aligns itself with North?  –  Nope.

map-manip
Some point to the compass button in the map manipulation view (shown above), but that is not a normal viewing screen, and the compass serves more as a toggle button between 2D-North Up view and 2D-Route Up view.  You can change from the cockpit view to the map manipulation view by swiping the screen or by moving the Commander knob up/down/left/right (rotating the knob zooms in/out).

Suggestion to NNG:  I feel that an ideal software improvement would be to affix the already created compass button (from the map manipulation screen) into the bottom right corner of the Route Up cockpit views, when the Navigation Menu bar is hidden (as shown below). Unlike your placement of the compass button in the  map manipulation view, it would be non-intrusive and wouldn’t need any separate display/no-display toggle capability.
map manip2.png

Turbo gauge

[Updated  3/1/2017]

The MX-5 RF is debuting a new cluster gauge (the left-most gauge) which is actually a TFT screen presented in a similar style to the mechanical gauges, but which can be customized to show a variety of different information, unlike our LCD info screen which is very limited in it’s capabilities.  It is officially called the 4.6″ Multi-Information color TFT display and I bet a turbo boost gauge could easily be accommodated in place of the unused monotone water temperature gauge (the color version functions nicely).

Anyways, it appears that a compass has been added to the primary screen to make up for the deficiency in the Navigation screens (and no Heads-Up Display).  The 2018 124 Spider will also come with the upgraded Multi-Information TFT Display, but you’ll need to order the Technology package to get it in the Classica model.  I wonder if indeed it will include a turbo boost gauge 😉

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18 thoughts on “Navigation

    • Thanks Andrea!
      Good find. I’ve been checking http://fiat-en-us.fiatconnect.com/navigation-updatemymaps on a regular basis and keep getting this message:

      UPDATE MY MAPS — NOTICE: The Toolbox is not yet available. The Naviextras Toolbox is required to update your maps. Please check back soon to download the Naviextras Toolbox to your PC as soon as it becomes available.

      I am a Fiat/Chrysler Retiree, so I am supposed to be able to get 25% discount on Mopar parts, however my dealer explained that this would be below dealer cost on this part, so he instead accommodated me by offering me cost + 10% (which worked out to about 17.5% discount). My dealer happened to have the part in stock. This seems like a high-profit item, but in this case, apparently that profit is claimed by someone other than the dealer. If you ask nicely, your dealer should honor 10% off (maybe 15% at the most) on the Nav SD card (pn 68334173AA), especially if you bought your Spider there 😉 and it retails for $395 in the Parts department, just like the Mazda equivalent.

      I recommend not going to the Service department to add the Nav option, as you will most likely pay retail PLUS around $110 labor (1 hour increment) for them to install – which is ridiculous, as they are simply inserting the SD card into it’s slot.

      Like

      • Hi,
        forgot to mention I’m Italian 🙂
        here the retail price for the SD is around 680 USD taxed.
        As soon I got the car and have a bit of free time I’ll try the AIO tweaks and I will report back the FW version for the EU Abarth CMU

        Like

  1. Your suggested site does mention free European map updates, so I thought that you might be somewhere in Europe. Anyways, 124 Spider Toolbox just updated my backup Ultra SD card to the “September 2016” maps! and now that card also works in my vehicle!
    Thanks again Andrea!

    U.S. Fiat & Mopar are VERY slow! You’ve already had your Italian 124 accessory catalog printed for 3 months now, your Toolbox website is up and running, and us – nothing.

    Congrats on the great Abarth 124 purchase – you’ll have 8 more horsepower than me, and from what I’ve read, you’ll really notice that extra bit 😉

    Like

  2. Ameridan,

    I tried copying the files from the Nav card to my PC and then copying them to a ScanDisk Ultra Plus 16GB, 80MB/Sec card. When installed in the car, the navigation system booted and the topographical map was there, but there were no streets. What did I do wrong?

    Like

    • I’m not sure. I guess I would try one or several of these options:

    • – repeat again using copy and Paste (not dragging files)
    • – compare the files to your original
    • – use Fiat Toolbox to update your new card
    • – use a Ultra card (vs. Ultra Plus) as the reader may not be up to 80MB/sec? (According to this user, your card should work.)
    • Like

  3. Anyone know it’s possible to replace the annoying “You are over the speed limit” announcement with a different sound such as a more discreet ‘ping’. I believe this is Igo software but can’t any files to alter on the SD card? I’ve been looking at different sites but with no luck so far.

    Like

    • I’m quite sure the announcements are Text-to-Speech (TTS), not audio files, so your idea would not be an easy task. Second, there is no software on the SD card, only data relating to maps, POIs and TTS responses. The hacks you are hoping for would involve the CMU and in my opinion, aren’t worth the effort. Try changing the settings to visual only, and leaving the Nav screen on for the majority of your travelling. The speed limit box turns yellow and red and the red light cameras show up in that box as well. It works for me.

      Like

      • I suspected the hacks would be CMU based after looking on the card. I know the warning annoucement can be switched off and the speed info on the display goes to red but I like an audio warning as well – just not that annoying spoken warning!

        By the way this is an excellent blog. Thanks for all the useful info!

        Dennis

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Dennis. In theory, your best bet would be to change the message from “You are over the speed limit” to “Ding” or something equivalent so that the TTS version of that is more pleasing. 🙂 I am not aware of which file that is located in though.

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  5. I had mentioned that to Dennis already, but he responded “I know the warning announcement can be switched off and the speed info on the display goes to red but I like an audio warning as well – just not that annoying spoken warning!”.

    The visual is enough for me though. 😉

    Like

  6. Pingback: Pre-delivery reminders ~ after you’ve taken delivery | 21st Century Fiat 124 Spider

  7. Would you suggest purchasing a navigation SD card not from Chrylser/Fiat but from an internet (eBay/Amazon) dealer at a greatly reduced cost?

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    • Back when I bought mine, nobody was offering the card for the Spider. That said, I would consider purchasing one online, as long as the vendor stands behind their product, but I won’t go so far as “suggesting” avoiding the dealer. They need enough business to warrant being in existence and available when and if your vehicle needs service.

      So far, I’ve bought my Mopar splash guards and Nav card, as well as my Fiat floor mats, from my local dealer – so I guess I’m doing my part. 😉

      Like

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