Simple to use, you just type in where you are, and then where you'd rather be, and hey presto it gives you not only a mapped out route, but also gives you the exact directions (ie. turn left at the roundabout, then take the next right etc etc), which is particularly useful for those of us who aren't that good at map reading!! However, if that's all you used Autoroute for, you'd never appreciate it's full potential. While planning your route you are able to zoom in on any areas of interest to you. From there you then have access to an incredible amount of information on the city or county you are interested - even down to more specific things like tourist attractions, businesses, shops etc. Should that not be enough for you, Autoroute also provides a truly extensive list of external links related to the area. When planning your route, Autoroute will estimate the time it will take you to travel there and the amount of fuel you will need. Should you wish to avoid certain areas on route, or stop somewhere along the way, Autoroute will take that into account for you, and alter your route accordingly. The feature I personally found most impressive, was Autoroute even has a phrasebook of 11 different European languages, and you can listen to common phrases being spoken (much better than just reading it from a book in my opinion). Also for European travellers, there's a very handy Euro convertor. Most of the times I've used Autoroute I found it very impressive, and arrived at my destinations happy! It could do no wrong in my eyes. However, I used it for a trip out recently, and ended up getting horribly lost! The directions I was following were just...wrong...to put it bluntly. I ended up having to get the trusty A-Z out in the end anyway. So much for modern technology, eh? I was lucky enough to have Autoroute already installed on my computer when I bought it, but to be completely honest I wouldn'
t personally go out and buy it. If, like me, you don't do an awful lot of travelling you really would be better off buying an A-Z! However, if you do travel a lot, particularly around Europe, I expect you would find it invaluable.
Microsoft Autoroute has come a long way over the past couple of years. The 1998 issue offered an excellent database of UK streets which would outdo any collection of A to Z maps, along with the ability to plot a clear route from any point to another. It would even show points of interest along the route and could be set to show hotels, cafes, museums and much more. As long as you knew your fuel comsumption and the cost of petrol or deisel, you could check the cost of the journey and even the time it would take, although the time is always due to be a variable factor. The 2001 issue took the software a lot further, and offered such features as postcode support and the ability to plot a route from door to door. It also possessed a basic outline of a world map showing all the major cities and features. With the option of printing a list of directions and a variety of maps from a single route map to a series of maps showing each turn, this was now a sophisticated piece of software. The latest version of 2002 has taken the program into Europe, so now it is possible to plot a route from your home to a specific street or avenue in Spain, Italy or any other Europeon destination. For anyone who travels by road on a regular basis this is now an essential program and quite invaluable. Naturally the roads change at such a rapid pace that there will be many new places omitted, but the overall usefullness of the system is still valid. I have used a couple of other programs over the years, mainly because they introduced such features os postcode support before Autoroute did. However, now that Autoroute has reached it's current standard, it is unrivalled.