Navigation Systems: Where Exactly Are We Going?

One in every five car purchases ends up being a GM product. With that sort of gravitas, the automaker has developed a wealth of information regarding its drivers’ habits. 

The automaker recently opened its vault of information just a little bit to show us where people are seeking directions to via the OnStar system. In July alone, GM delivered nearly 2 million route destinations to its OnStar subscribers. Of those 2 million, the most popular destination ended up being ... drum roll, please ... Wal-Mart. 

That should come as no surprise. The ubiquitous blue-box is the largest retailer in the country, after all. The rest of the list is interesting and telling as to how people use an on-demand service like OnStar and perhaps other navigation systems. One can surmise from the bank, hotel, fast-food and coffee inquires that OnStar is mainly used for road-tripping, because you should know where those are in your local community. Check out the full list, then tell us in the comments what you often use your navigation for. 

1.  Wal-Mart 
2.  Holiday Inn 
3.  Home Depot 
4.  Walgreens 
5.  Marriott 
6.  McDonald’s 
7.  Bank of America 
8.  Starbucks 
9.  Target 
10. Hampton Inn

By Colin Bird | August 13, 2010 | Comments (4)


I dont have a navigation system. I use Mapquest on my blackberry, although not for any of the places listed above. I mainly use it for new restaurants around area that I haven't visited before.

Glenn H

Strange list. Just about all of the locations listed are on just about every block! Sounds like free money for OnStar!You'd think gas stations would have made the list...probably not BP though...LOL!


The destinations listed are actually a reflection of GM's products. The directions were mainly given to folks who were renting cars and who is the king of car rentals? GM. I used OnStar many of times when renting from Avis.


I think a better answer to the question "Navigation Systems: Where Exactly Are We Going?" is to the phone. Blackberry, iPhone, Android phones - GPS on the phone is prob going to overrun the Garmins & TomToms in the near future. More in line with the spirit of the question; I thought the list was interesting too (esp the hotels being so prominent) and I think Bert hit the nail right on the head, those look like things someone who was new to a town might be trying to find. Bank of America is a little surprising but also might reflect a certain leaning toward the west coast. Smells like rentals to me too, not that that's a bad thing.

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