SatNavs, the indispensable piece of kit for all modern motorists that have forgotten how to read maps, are to be made more human in an effort to sell new SatNavs, now virtually every motorists have one.
"They're very robotic," said Tom Garmin, head of research and development at NavSat. "This means that people do not identify with them, and then get annoyed with them when they direct you down a farm track and past the farmer out walking his sheep."
Using the so called 'Uncanny Valley' it is has been shown that people relate better to humans, than to robots, and are more likely to remain calmer with a human seeming SatNav.
"One of the big problems," said Garmin, "is that SatNavs have a tendency to say 'turn left in one hundred yards'. This isn't something that people say. Nobody knows how far a hundred yards is. They can guess, but it's just that, a guess."
Instead, the new SatNavs will hold the location of every pub, petrol station, tree and corner shop in the country. This will allow the SatNavs to announce "turn left by the Rose and Crown, just up ahead on the right."
With a more human interface, the new SatNavs will also be more apologetic. When the driver obviously knows best and misses several turns, and takes other ones, instead of placid re-routing, the SatNavs will apologise.
"They'll say things like 'You obviously know this bit of the journey better than me, I'll start giving directions when you get somewhere you've not been before'," said Garmin.
Garmin is quick to point out that the Snipey-Mother-In-Law modification is just a rumour.
"If you keep missing turns," said Garmin, "the SatNav will remain apologetic, and assume the driver's correct. IT won't, as the so-called experts on the web are announcing, get snipey and start saying 'I told you to turn left back there, now we're going to be late'. We don't think this is helpful."
Finally, upon entering a tunnel, the SatNav will now tell the driver that it's going to go quiet for a bit, because it cannot see it's mummy.