Bucharest is the best city for GPS signal, data reveals

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Drivers in Bucharest, Romania have lowest chance of experiencing a GPS signal drop and slow internet, with a navigation failure score of 55.17/100.

That’s according to the latest study by Confused.com (Q1,2022), which calculated a  ‘navigation failure score’ out of 100 for 216 global cities. The score considers factors that can contribute to driver accuracy, safety and journey times, such as the access to Map apps and real-time travel and traffic updates. To determine the score, we analysed the total number of GPS satellite failures, internet download speeds and internet latency within each city.

# City Country Total GPS satellite failures (January – April 2021) * % of speed tests with low download speed** % of speed tests with high internet latency*** Navigation failure score out of 100
1 Sofia Bulgaria 37 0.85% 0.41% 91.97
2 Barcelona Spain 67 0.43% 0.29% 90.83
3 Stockholm Sweden 103 0.34% 0.20% 88.53
4 Ankara Turkey 101 0.27% 0.22% 83.93
5 Luxembourg Luxembourg 11 0.31% 0.44% 82.77
6 Madrid Spain 38 0.28% 0.13% 73.60
7 Bern Switzerland 47 0.24% 0.13% 72.43
8 Hamburg Germany 4 0.62% 0.17% 67.83
9 Helsinki Finland 254 0.14% 0.08% 65.50
10 Lisbon Portugal 5 0.22% 0.23% 63.20
11 Berlin Germany 7 0.21% 0.17% 59.77
12 Rome Italy 28 0.20% 0.05% 56.33
=13 Frankfurt Germany 3 0.27% 0.14% 55.17
=13 Brussels Belgium 0 0.24% 0.37% 55.17
14 Zürich Switzerland 13 0.15% 0.06% 54.03
15 Dublin Ireland 4 0.19% 0.17% 51.73

Bucharest is the best city for GPS signal

With just 1 GPS satellite failure, Bucharest, Romania scored 6.83 out of 100 on navigation failure. This marks the city as the best place for GPS signal in Europe. Just 0.01% of speed tests had a low download speed, and 0.01% of tests also had a high internet latency – metrics known to cause digital map failures.

The European cities with the biggest signal blackspots

With a navigation failure score of 91.97/100, the survey can reveal that drivers are most likely to experience GPS signal loss and slow mobile internet in Sofia, Bulgaria. With 37 instances of GPS signal failure in Q1 2021, the capital also had the highest percentage (0.85%) of slow download speed across Europe. This can stop drivers from accessing digital maps and traffic information when on the road. Only 0.03% behind Luxembourg (0.44%) in top spot, Sofia had the second-highest percentage (0.41%) of tests with internet latency higher than 200ms (milliseconds), which can result in slow response and consequently a map navigation delay.

Barcelona, Spain, has the second highest navigation failure score at 90.83/100. The city experienced 82% more GPS satellite failures (67) than Sofia between January and April 2021. However, drivers in Barcelona are less likely to have internet speed issues than those in the Bulgarian capital. On average, 0.43% of tests in Barcelona resulted in a slow download speed – 0.42% less than Sofia (0.85%) and 0.15% more than the country’s capital, Madrid (0.28%).

Confused.com found Stockholm, Sweden is the third European city that drivers are most likely to experience signal loss in, with a navigation failure score of 88.53/100. Stockholm experienced the second highest number of GPS signal failures in Europe (103), just 59% fewer than Helsinki, Finland in top spot (254). The Scandinavian capital also had the fourth-highest percentage of tests with a slow download speed (0.34%) – just 0.09% fewer than Barcelona in third.

Ankara, Turkey has the fourth biggest signal blackspot in Europe, with a score of 83.93/100. The Turkish capital placed eighth for the percentage of tests with a slow download speed (0.27%) and seventh for the tests with high internet latency (0.22%). However, Ankara falls into the top four due to experiencing the third highest number of GPS satellite failures (101) – 2 cases less than Stockholm (103).

Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at Confused.com commented: Driving somewhere new can be a stressful experience even if you do have access to Maps or other navigation apps. Whether you’re driving abroad or taking a new route in town, it’s key to make sure you’re fully prepared before the trip. Do your research to grasp a basic understanding of your route so you’re not relying on your map app to get you there. 

“If you’re driving in a new country – it’s important to make sure you’ve got the right insurance for your trip. If you only have standard third-party cover to drive in Europe, it might be worth considering paying to upgrade your insurance.”

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