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.
As far as I always tend to look critically on any GPS for cars and boats devices, the Becker Map Pilot is not an exemption.
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 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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I just read this review and it’s very interesting. I’ve never seen a GPS system like this, and it seems really good considering it’s an European product (this is an American speaking).
With that said, I always use Waze for my GPS uses. It gets me out of traffic and its free, although it still isn’t perfect. What makes this product of yours vastly different from Waze?
Hi, Ariel and thanks for stopping by.
The short answer to your question is WAZE needs to be connected to the internet. It is an online app. I use Waze very much not only as a direct navigation tool to reach a destination but mainly as a crowded-source vault to be in touch about police traps, traffic jams and other traffic info en route.
The Becker Map Pilot is a data base for stand alone GPS navigation system as many Garmin and TomTom devices. Generally, they do not need an internet connection.
As I mentioned somewhere in my posts roaming cost in European countries are different, and as soon you cross a border than the guest traffic fees are imminent and believe me it is costly. Although EU directive requires the elimination of roaming charges from July 2017 and even today some limits are set, mobile operators find various ways of forcing people to pay for Internet services high.
So as far as Waze is effective when online my iPhone data roaming is switched off as soon as I cross any border
Waze gps navigation is a very good system that I have never come across, I bought one and It works perfectly. Thanks for sharing such an important resource and please continue doing this great job. Keep me updated on any future developments in this technology and will be more than happy to receive your newsletters.
Waze is online smartphone application.
It can be used as voice guide street navigation just you need to be constantly online, and it is the main drawback comparing to stand alone car sat navigation systems. Mercedes car makers decided to implement the Becker Street pilot for some of their models.
I think that it is rather a good solution just like almost every solution it has pros and cons.
A very useful and interesting review of the Becker Map Pilot. I personally use Google Maps, and have unfortunately found myself lost many more times than I care to speculate.
The negative thing is the updating of the system. Does this product have easy ways of wirelessly updating, or must you take it out and plug it in to a computer? Is the process difficult or can a novice do it by themselves, or do you need to take it to a dealer?
Thanks John for stopping by.
You are right about update feature. From the first sight, it could look boring and inconvenient, and somehow it is so. From the other hand what a big deal? Unplug Becker Map Pilot module, it can be done very easily. Connect with a computer and do whatever you want.
Map updates.It does not happen so often and doing this procedure about four times a year is not a big deal. Definately, smartphone is the cheapest solution when it comes to GPS navigation solution, but I always have to count it as backup device
I’ve never driven a Mercedes before so I don’t know what kind of GPS they have in their system, but it sounds like there are different systems used by different manufacturers (or could it just be the same maker, but different brand names…?).
Sounds like there are also mixed review for this. I did like your comment regarding the voice command–I don’t think this will ever be perfected unless you have a real live human listening on the other end and translating that to the computer because we have our own ways of speaking so how you say one word could be very different from how I say it.
Definitely some great information here regarding GPS. It’s surprising how many people are still investing in actual satellite GPS when phones can already do that. I suppose phones aren’t always going to be as reliable, especially when you are out in the middle of nowhere with no cell signal.
Thanks for your time and meaningful comment. Actually, the latest Mercedes car models have the more advanced navigation system like â€žComandâ€œ with wireless, internet connection and so on. WiFi connection capability sound great and practically it is so.
Just as any complicated device and solution it often hangs. The Becker Map Pilot is a traditional GPS navigation system’s component and, as most of Mercedes-Benz products, works just fine. Regarding voice commands, I do not think that any prudent man while driving request the address without checking its accuracy manually.
Then why such a feature is needed?
I can see you have knowledge on this subject, I like it how you have all the specification. I don’t own a mercades benz, but if I do, I’d definitely take this into consideration. We all use GPS now a days, what better way than to put them into a car.
Mercedes is well-known car maker brand and producing high-quality and premium class cars. Talking about GPS navigation and about Becker Map Pilot particularly then my opinion is smart sat nav solution mainly because of convenient update mode.
Someone can argue that wireless is more convenient and modern technology. Yes, it could be, but in reality, so many problems sometimes arise to connect wifi devices. For Becker Map Pilot only you need to do is unclip the module and connect to computer by solid cable and viola, you are ready to hit the road.
Hey buddy, i am delighted to visit your site. I like the way you organize it with insightful contents, easy to read. Congratulations
Thanks for kind words.
Actually, I still learning and discovering so many unknown for me horizons. When it come to GPS then for me as a mariner and all my life somehow with waters connected man, the marine GPS navigation related themes is more exciting.
Although some interesting things and solutions are found in connection with the car navigation as Becker Map Pilot as an example.
Even though I don’t have a Mercedes myself, I would definitely recommend the Becker Map Pilot for anyone that wants the best navigation for their car. The best part of this review is you are telling your customers both the pros and the cons of purchasing this product. Overall great review.
Thank you, Alan, for commenting my post.
As I mentioned somewhere before, the Becker Map Pilot is a smart GPS navigation solution especially when it comes to roadmap update convenience.
What only you have to do is open glove box, with one click, unplug the unit and connect to the computer. In fact, even faster than latest GPS models wireless update feature.
I totally agree with you on the importance of GPS, many would not have the courage of wandering in any place without the use of GPS system, many are exploring even the remote area of the earth due to the availability of GPS. How I wish you have some information on GPS for people on the road who is not driving like me but I know smartphone can be used. Based on your GPS news, I can’t understand why using the GPS on cell phone is prohibited in Rhode Island, what seems to be the difference using the Garmin GPS device vs using the Garmin Navigation app in the smartphone, they do have the same function, it is only the device that is different, it’s totally surprising.
Hi, Rose and thanks for stopping by.
Regarding your amazement about Rhode Island driving regulations of cell phone usage. In the beginning, it looks for me foolish as well, but I dug deeper and found that not so stupid regulations at all. You can read more in my post.
The short answer about the difference between dedicated Garmin (and many other brands like TomTom, Magellan, Becker blah, blah) and smartphone GPS navigation app is.
No any other function just navigation but a phone is the communication device, and sooner or later you will be forced to react somehow to incoming calls, text messages or even Spotify music.
The voice guided features as Siri is not the solution as interaction can not be granted for 100% credibility.