In short, the Becker Map Pilot is the removable navigation system that is fully integrated into the vehicle electronics system.
It is a combination of a fixed sat nav and has advantages of mobile GPS for cars. Not so bad alternative to car multimedia system.
Interesting and smart GPS navigation solution from such well-known German brands as Mercedes-Benz and Harman Becker. I think that noticing only those names is worst to check out what the heck is the Becker Map Pilot.
When it comes to German car making traditions and Mercedes in particular only the best I could say. Not just as a listener or passive reader but as an active German made cars driver and owner years before including Mercedes Benz E190.
So, Mercedes in company with Becker invented the removable module and firstly it was introduced in 2011 Geneva Motor Show. As far I understand it then the latest car models MB has moved towards Garmin sat nav integration solutions but so many excellent condition Mercedes-Benz cars still running highways with Becker Map Pilot modules in the glove box.
Let’s take a look what it is.
Becker® MAP PILOT transforms your Audio 20 radio into a high-performance navigation system with 3D map views. Becker® MAP PILOT uses the standard-fit 14.7 cm colour display and is conveniently operated via the vehicle’s Controller and the Audio 20 keypad.
The plug-in navigation module can be connected to your PC via USB to download the latest updates and additional services from the Becker® MAP PILOT website.
The unit is available for the following vehicles:
A-Class (176) December 2012 –
B-Class (246) March 2012 –
CLA-Class (117) April 2013 –
GLA-Class (156) December 2013 –
SLK-Class (172) May 2011 –
C-Class Coupe (204) May 2011 –
C-Class Saloon and Estate (204) June 2011 – 2014L.
Looks good and in general, what else to add? Actually, for above MB models, the only factory installed GPS navigation solution and by me the convenient and safe in terms of car driving.
I have done decent online research for related product and am ready to make my verdict.
I would like to make the short summary from real users experience not what producers are advertising about the unit. I will not divide pros and cons but mix them in context.
I suppose that Mercedes-Benz car dealers used to overprice this option.
What do I mean?
As I mentioned before, there are numbers of MB cars for which GPS navigation uses Becker Map Pilot as a factory solution. So, your car has installed 5,3-inch display with controller next to a gear stick and on the steering wheel as well as some voice commands features available.
Purchasing a car you have a choice with or without removable navigation module. I guess that some not very honest car dealers even not mention about it. Well, purchasing $50K luxury car then another two hundred bucks is a tiny amount of money.
If you care to drive with most updated navigation road maps than Becker Harman, offer 45 days totally free map update.
It means that you need to unclick the unit from designated cradle in the glove box, connect to the computer and perform promised free updates.
I hope that many Mercedes-Benz dealers have done this procedure right before selling the given car, and you do not need to care about it.
Anyway, roads are under constant construction and changes are imminent so in a year or so driving outdated maps will lead you to dead end or extra mileage. It would be sad to miss a train on which our beloved ones have arrived and waiting for you. To minimize a risk, sooner or later you will have to make map updates, either you will perform it yourself or trust the specialist.
Many of us consider themselves knowledgeable in computers and will try to make updates on their own. Why not, even more so if step by step manual is available.
But, after reading users feedback, the update procedure could be very complicated or confused. I found that one guy tries five computers with different soft but only old Vista running laptop allows to execute an update procedure. I hope that it is an exclusion as nothing is perfect.
Free map updates are just within 45 days after registration your device. Later on, it cost you $$ or €€ and updates are available in very casual mode.
Some of updates related confusions I only found as the cons and few purely personal inconveniences noted by users.
Sorry guys but I have to add to above said. I somehow skipped taking a look at Amazon customer reviews although I usually do it first. So many one star comments and almost all related to maps, updates and low mapping quality comparing with other GPS for cars devices like Garmin or TomTom.
There are some complaints about bad voice commands and recognitions. Regarding this, I never considered that not yet invented the perfect voice command solution and for such precise devices as sat nav the punctuality is essential. Wrong voice recognition could lead you to nowhere, and it could be a very costly mistake.
What else I found that it is a big difference in Customer Reviews on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk about Becker Map Pilot. How to explain it, either Europeans have more patience to carry out updates on the computer, either maps meant for the United States is not that good. It looks like Mercedes wanted to solve this by moving to Garmin Map Pilot as Becker Map Pilot is rumored to be discontinued.
What to say in conclusion?
The Becker Map Pilot fulfills its primary task- voice and visual guided GPS navigation to direct a driver from point A to B. There is list of Mercedes-Benz cars which has no options for other, except self-contained GPS units, factory installed sat nav solution. So, if any of such car owner do not like to has good Garmin or TomTom navigator on car’s windshield, he (she) is forced to use a Becker Map Pilot.
I think that it is rather good for everyday use and if you are about to make an unforgettable voyage to enticing locations abroad, than smartphone TomTom app or similar could be the great backup solution. Not yet the PERFECT Satellite navigation which fit for everyone needs is invented.
Keep smiling, drive safely and enjoy our Wonderful World even navigating with Becker Map Pilot!
Becker Map Pilot Instructions
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