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Pioneer AVIC-U280

Add-on GPS navigation module with built-in traffic information receiver

1 Review | 6 questions - 6 answers

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Item # 130AVIC280

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Overview

Our take on the Pioneer AVIC-U280

You've got a great Pioneer DVD receiver in your dash — why not give it some additional functionality? The AVIC-U280 GPS module connects directly to your Pioneer DVD receiver, adding reliable navigation tools to help you find your way. You'll have access to detailed HERE (formerly known as NAVTEQ) maps of Canada, Puerto Rico, and the  entire United States,  as well as eight million points of interest for finding important stops along your route. Commuters in metropolitan areas get the added advantage of a built-in traffic-information receiver which provides updates on congestion so you don't get stuck in a jam.

Blaze a path with a Pioneer navigation upgrade

You've got a great Pioneer DVD receiver in your dash — why not give it some additional functionality? The AVIC-U280 GPS module connects directly to your Pioneer DVD receiver, adding reliable navigation tools to help you find your way. You'll have access to detailed HERE (formerly known as NAVTEQ) maps of Canada, Puerto Rico, and the entire United States, as well as eight million points of interest for finding important stops along your route. Commuters in metropolitan areas get the added advantage of a built-in traffic-information receiver which provides updates on congestion so you don't get stuck in a jam.

Pioneer AVIC-U280 Add-On Navigation module

This powerful guidance system is smaller than a paperback book.

Works with 2010-up Pioneer DVD receivers

The compact AVIC-U280 works with select 2010-up Pioneer DVD receivers, allowing you to access maps on a high-quality touchscreen display that puts you in fingertip control of the action. A switch on the module allows you to match the video output resolution to your receiver. Your Pioneer receiver will mute your music, deliver the directions you need, then start the music playing again. The AVIC-U280 also includes an SD™ card slot, so you can easily upload new maps as they become available.

Find your way

Plug the AVIC-U280 module into the back of your compatible receiver and then use your Pioneer's touchscreen controls to take charge of the navigation functions. You can choose a destination by entering a specific street address or intersection, or by selecting a hotel, restaurant, shop, or another of the eight million points of interest. You'll see the preloaded road maps on your receiver's video screen, as it displays your current position and your destination. Text-to-speech technology provides voice prompts over your car speakers that announce actual street names at turns, so you'll hear "turn right on Sullivan Street," instead of "take the next right."

Maps in 2D or 3D orientation

You can choose to view the maps in 2D or 3D orientation — with the latter, you'll see landmarks and buildings represented in three dimensions to help you get a better sense of your bearings. The receiver will also show you the posted speed limit along major roads, and visually warn you when you're exceeding it. You'll also get lane guidance to put you in the right position for your next turn, and junction view that gives you a realistic picture of complicated interchanges.

Don't get stuck

When you see bad traffic conditions along your route in metropolitan areas, you can ask the receiver to find a new path to your destination and save time. The receiver will even factor in historic traffic patterns along your route when mapping, so it'll automatically guide you to the smartest route, depending on the time of day. The traffic updates don't require a subscription and are free for the life of the receiver.

Product Highlights:

  • add-on GPS navigation system for compatible 2010-up Pioneer AVH in-dash multimedia receivers
  • GPS satellite antenna and TMC traffic-information antenna
  • hook-and-loop velcro fastener and RGB cable
  • built-in road maps of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico by HERE (formerly known as NAVTEQ)
  • 8 million points of interest
  • free TMC traffic reports in metropolitan areas (no subscription needed)
  • text-to-speech voice prompts announce street names at turns
  • 2D and 3D map views
  • lane guidance and junction view
  • route customization options
  • SD card slot for map updates
  • 5-5/16"W x 1-1/8"H x 4-7/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Add-on navigation module
  • 8GB SDHC map card
  • 6.5' Navigation cable (terminated by a data-bus connector on one end and a RGB connector on other end)
  • 6' Power/ground harness
  • GPS antenna (with attached 10' cable)
  • Traffic antenna (w/ attached 8' cable)
  • Self-adhesive pad
  • 2 Velcro strips
  • Machine screw
  • Owner's Manual
  • "Caution!" note
  • Warranty Card
  • Online Product Registration
Reviews

Pioneer AVIC-U280 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(1 Review)

Not that great, so far

Jeff from Marion, FL on 7/11/2016

I like having this built into the head unit, but thus far I have not really liked the way it works. I've used TomTom and Garmins before and this interface is not intuitive. Both my wife and I had a hard time either finding ways to save routes or to find the saved routes. I'm sure I'll figure it out by looking in the manual, but I shouldn't have to do that. I found a way to store a named route in the "more" button after I typed in the address. But I absolutely could not find where those definitions were stored. A day later my wife found them somewhere but she could not remember how she got to the list. As for its functionality, the heavy traffic detector worked when we drove to Savannah. It said there was heavy traffic but did not suggest where to turn to avoid it. I knew the area, so I made the turn and it then recalculated and took us accurately to our destination, which was nice because I did not know the exact turn by turn. So, the traffic sensor sort of worked. There is also a misleading nomenclature that this unit uses when it wants you to get to an address that is on the opposite side of the street. It says for you to turn around in such and such a distance as though you're headed in the wrong direction. What it really should be telling me is to make a left to get to the address or to make a u-turn and come back a bit to get to the address. Both my wife and I thought it worked strangely that way. UPDATED 8/29/16: I'm adding an update here to my first review; same rating. I'm trying to like this unit, but have not figured out what it's doing yet. But, when it sends me in the wrong direction (and I mean I know it's sending me completely in the wrong direction), if I clear the destination or way points and re-enter the destination, that seems to fix the problem. Either I really don't know how to use this unit, or the designers made it too complicated by adding way points. All I want to do is put in start and end point. It's a nice feature to have multiple stop points, but I think that part of the functionality is buggy and is causing problems with basic point a to point b navigation. There's also one "feature" that is badly named in the settings. It simply says "Highways" and has a checkbox for it. Well, wouldn't you think that means "use highways if available"? Of course it does not. Below is what the manual says: Highways: "Set whether to avoid freeways when you are driving a slow car or you are towing another vehicle." So I had that setting enabled (whether it was the default I don't know) and when I un-checked it, I got a much better route planned. Sometimes I just shake my head in regard to how completely stupid engineers can be. There's plenty of display space to name this selection "Avoid Highways" instead of just "Highways". I mean seriously; stupid, stupid, stupid.

Pros: Nice to have built in. Voice choices have pleasing sound. I like that the unit will announce the street name before the turn. Also like the turn by turn directions. UPDATED 8/29/16: No need for second screen.

Cons: Starts up automatically when the car starts. I would rather it didn't. I suppose that's a setting somewhere. Sometimes gives inaccurate directions Un-intuitive user interface. UPDATED 8/29/16: Clunky, unituitive user interface. Takes me the completely wrong direction sometimes until I clear all way points and destinations and start over.

Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

Compatibility: The Pioneer AVIC-U280 Add-on Navigation System is compatible with the following 2010 and up Pioneer AVH-series navigation-ready multimedia head units.

  • 2016: AVH-4200NEX, AVH-X7800BT, AVH-X6800DVD, AVH-X5800BHS, AVH-X4800BS, AVH-X3800BHS, AVH-X2800BS, and AVH-X1800S
  • 2015: AVH-4100NEX, AVH-X7700BT, AVH-X6700DVD, AVH-X5700BHS, AVH-X4700BS, AVH-X3700BHS, AVH-X2700BS, and AVH-X1700S
  • 2014: AVH-4000NEX, AVH-X5600BHS, AVH-X4600BT, AVH-X3600BHS, AVH-X2600BT, and AVH-X1600DVD
  • 2013: AVH-X8500BHS, AVH-X7500BT, AVH-X6500DVD, AVH-X5500BHS, AVH-X4500BT, AVH-X3500BHS, AVH-X2500BT, and AVH-X1500DVD
  • 2012: AVH-P8400BH, AVH-P4400BH, AVH-P3400BH, AVH-P2400BT, and AVH-P1400DVD
  • 2011: AVH-P6300BT, AVH-P4300DVD, AVH-P3300BT, and AVH-2300DVD
  • 2010: AVH-P5200BT, AVH-P5200DVD, AVH-P4200DVD, AVH-P3200BT, and AVH-P3200DVD
Note: The AVIC-U280 plugs into the RGB connector of these Pioneer head units. The included SD-card must be inserted into the AVIC-U280 for the head unit to recognize it.

HERE Navigation: The AVIC-U280 offers a comprehensive map database from HERE covering the entire United States (including Alaska & Hawaii), Canada, and Puerto Rico enabling users to route to millions of destinations; including 8 Million points of interest (POIs). The map database is stored on the in 8GB SDHC memory card (the SDHC memory card must remain installed in the unit). Map updates via a SD/SDHC memory card will be available at later date.

Note: Car navigation maps are frequently updated. While this database was judged to be as accurate as possible at the time of its release, a map database can never be 100% accurate. Road information that is maintained in the map databases, such as turn restrictions or road names may change over time.

GPS Receiver & Antenna: The unit has a built-in GPS receiver and comes with a magnetic GPS antenna. The AVIC-U280 accurately measures your current location by the Global Positioning System, a network of satellites orbiting the earth to give you time and position information. The accuracy of the GPS information depends upon how good the reception is. The GPS antenna can be installed outside or inside the vehicle.

Real-Time Traffic Updates: Partnering with Clear Channel Broadcasting's Total Traffic Network, the included Traffic antenna provides real-time traffic data for over 90 major cities in North America, including US and Canada. Check your commute route in advance or re-route to your destination to avoid traffic congestion. There is no subscription cost and no annoying on-screen advertisements.

  • Road segments affected by traffic incidents are displayed with an alternate color on the map and small symbols above the road show the nature of the incident.
  • When traffic information that may affect your route is receive, this system will warn you that it is recalculating the route and navigation will continue with a new route that is optimal considering the most up-to-date traffic conditions.

On-Screen Map: The Pioneer AVIC-U280 displays a real-time moving map illustrating your current position and intended route on your compatible Pioneer AVH-series receiver. It will show map scale and geographic details such as lakes, rivers, highways, buildings, and towns. Your route is marked with a green line, while your vehicle is indicated by a red arrow on the screen, and checkered flag marks your destination. As you travel the AVIC-U280 guides to your destination with arrows on the map and directions at the top of the screen. The map screen will also indicate the distance to your next maneuver. During your calculated route, distance to your final destination, timed need to reach the final destination, and estimated arrival time are all displayed on-screen. You can adjust the following map settings.

  • 2D/3D Map Mode: The Pioneer AVIC-U280 allows you to view its on-screen map in a 2D (two-dimensional) or 3D (three-dimensional) view. 2D View displays a normal two-dimensional map with North or your direction at the top of map screen. Similar to paper road maps, the 2D mode, shows you streets, roads, and elevation by color. In 3D mode, your direction is at the top of the map screen and you can see the altitude and elevations differences. You can distinguish between valleys, mountains, and elevated roads. In selected cities 3D landmarks and 3D buildings are also displayed.
  • Color Mode: You can switch between daytime and nighttime color modes or let the unit's software switch between the two mode automatically a few minutes before sunrise and a few minutes after sunset.
Note: The on-screen map offers Smart Zoom. When you approach a turn, the map will zoom in and raise the view angle to let you easily recognize your maneuver at the next junction. If the turn is at a distance, it will zoom out and lower the view angle to be flat so you can see the road in front of you.

Lane Guidance & Signposts: The Pioneer AVIC-U280's navigation map offers helpful lane information and signpost guidance, along with exit service.

  • Lane Guidance: When navigation on multilane roads, it is important to take the appropriate lane in order to follow the recommended route. If lane information is available in the map data, the map screen will display the lanes and their directions using small arrows at the bottom of the map. High lighted arrows represent the lanes you need to take.
  • Signposts: Where additional information is available, signposts substitute arrows. Signposts are displayed at the top of the map. The color and style of the signposts are similar to the real ones you can see above the road or by the roadside, They show the available destinations and the number of the road the lane leads to.
  • Junction View: If you are approaching a freeway exit or a complex intersection and the needed information exists, the map is replaced with a 3D view of the junction. The lanes you need to take are displayed with arrows. Signposts can also be present, if information is available.
  • Exit Services: While navigation a route, you can find gas, food, lodging, and restrooms near upcoming exits along major highways and freeways.
  • Tunnel View: When entering a tunnel, the map is replaced with a generic tunnel image so that surface roads and buildings cannot distract you.

Audible Alerts: The Pioneer AVIC-U280 offers various audible alerts and functions to help you get to your destination safely.

  • Voice Guidance (Text-to-Speech): In addition to graphical on-screen directions and maps, the AVIC-U280 provides voice guidance and turn-by-turn directions. You can choose a male or female voice in English, French, or Spanish. Some of the voices are capable of text-to-speech, announcing the street names along with the turn directions. You can adjust the the AVIC-U280' voice guidance volume independently from the compatible Pioneer head unit's main volume.
  • Safety Alert: This function can warn you when you approach road safety cameras, school zones, or railroad crossings (if available). You can also add your own alert points. Beeps or the spoken type of alert will be heard when you are approaching of these points.
  • Speed Limit Warning: Some maps may contain information about the speed limits of certain road segments. The AVIC-U280 provides an audible warning if you exceed the recommended speed limit.
Note: The unit will mute the audio of the other sources during navigation voice-prompts.

Where Am I? & Destination Search: The Where Am I? screen contains information about the current position (or approximately the last known position if GPS reception is not available) and a button to search for POIs and emergency assistance nearby. The Destination Search menu offers search tools to find your destination and play your route.

  • Browse Map: Select a point on the map for your destination by touching the screen.
  • Address: Input your destination address by house number, street, and city (or county).
  • POIs: Search over 7.9 million POIs (points-of interest) by name, near you current location, near your destination, or around a city.
  • Favorites (including Home & Work): You can save your favorite addresses and POIs for quicker access the next time you are traveling. You can also save your Home and Work address in your favorites.
  • History & Smart History: The places that you have set as destinations in the past are automatically stored for easier access. Smart History suggest these previously used locations as destinations based on your navigation habits, using parameters like the current time of day, the day of week, and the current location.
  • Combined Search: You can enter search keywords to find addresses, favorite places, recent destination, and POIs.
  • Coordinates: Allows you to search your destination by longitude and latitude values.
Note: Your vehicle must be stopped and the parking brake will need to be engaged to enable certain navigation functions; such as Address search and Coordinates.

Route Calculation: The Pioneer AVIC-U280 calculates your route based on your Vehicle Type, Route Method, and Avoidances.

  • Vehicle Type: You select what type of vehicle you are driving, so the navigation unit can determine the best route based on your vehicle type (Car, Truck, Emergency, Bus, or Taxi).
  • Route Method: You can choose which route method (Fastest, Shortest, Green, Economical, or Easy) the navigation unit should use when calculating your route.
    • Fastest: give a quick route, if you can travel at or near the speed limit on all roads. Usually the best section for fast and normal cars
    • Shortest: gives a route that has the smallest total distance of all possible routes. It can be practical for slow vehicles
    • Economical: combines the benefits of Fast and Short; calculates as if it were calculating the Fast route, but it takes other roads as well to save fuel
    • Easy: results in a route with fewer turns and no difficult maneuvers
  • Avoidances: You can tell the navigation unit to avoid certain types of roads along your calculated route, such as - Highways, Tolls, Carpool/HOV, Unpaved Roads, and/or Ferries.

Route Planning: The Route Planner feature lets you built your route using the list of destinations you have chosen. You can modify the list as you like (adding or removing a destination (waypoint), changing a final destination, or setting a new starting position. The Itinerary page displays turn-by-turn instructions for your entire route and the distance between turns. You can preview all the route information and simulate travel along a projected route.

Modifying Route: You can select "Route Alternative" to see the turn-list and map screen of four routes (Fastest/Shortest/Economical/Easy) with the selected route planning parameters, giving you the option to select which route to take. You can also choose to Detour around the road ahead, avoid a specific road, or around a section of the route.  If you depart from the original route, the navigation system recalculates the route and provides new directions.

Trip Monitor: The Trip Monitor contains useful information about your trip. This information can be saved manually when you reach your destination or automatically along your route. Trip log data includes; Start/End Time, Avg./Max. Speed, Total/Driving/Stopped Time, Total Distance, and Min./Max. Altitude.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

I Recently purchased a Jayco Melbourne RV and was plesd to see it was equipped with a Pioneer DVD receiver that was GPS capable. I wanted to add in-dash GPS and this make that possilble. [ JOHN  May 20, 2017 ]
I have one already and it great [ Esby  Apr 23, 2017 ]

6 questions already asked

You will want to contact an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat to discuss compatibility with your factory system. They will be able to pull up your vehicle and see what items may integrate, and help you make the best choice for your system. [ Kenny  Aug 14, 2017 ]  Staff
Yes: "The Pioneer AVIC-U280 allows you to view its on-screen map in a 2D (two-dimensional) or 3D (three-dimensional) view. 2D View displays a normal two-dimensional map with North or your direction at the top of map screen. Similar to paper road maps, the 2D mode, shows you streets, roads, and elevation by color. In 3D mode, your direction is at the top of the map screen and you can see the altitude and elevations differences. You can distinguish between valleys, mountains, and elevated roads. In selected cities 3D landmarks and 3D buildings are also displayed" You will find this information, and more, by clicking on the "Details" tab on module's main webpage. I hope that helps. My Bio: https://www.crutchfield.com/bio/Ryan [ Ryan  Jun 28, 2017 ]  Staff
If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings on the product and see if there may be a fix. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. If you did not purchase the unit from Crutchfield, then you may want to contact the manufacturer. You can also post your question in our forums: http://community.crutchfield.com. Or try our online support center: http://crutchfield.custhelp.com/app/answers/list/kw/. [ Krissy  Jan 09, 2017 ]  Staff
yes you have to connect the yellow to 12v, and ground the black, if you know how to put in radios, then its easy because its a standard thing.. battery 12v, not key switched 12v. [ l  Dec 19, 2016 ]
I'm not sure what you mean. The AVH-X2600BT is listed as a compatible model for the AVIC-U280. "2014: AVH-4000NEX, AVH-X5600BHS, AVH-X4600BT, AVH-X3600BHS, AVH-X2600BT, and AVH-X1600DVD" You can view the compatibility list by clicking the "Details" tab on the AVIC-280's main webpage. I hope that helps. My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=5 [ Ryan  Aug 20, 2016 ]  Staff
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