Faulty iPhone Maps Could Kill You, Australian Authorities Warn

Is our reliance on GPS and mobile devices maps making us increasingly disoriented and oblivious? To me, the relevant aspect of this story is not that Apple’s map app is flawed, but that numerous people would drive to a remote, dangerous desert just because their smartphone told them to. Via Newser:

Apple’s much-maligned mapping system is so flawed that motorists who rely on it run the risk of ending up dead in the wilderness, Australia police warn. Over the last few weeks, six motorists have become stranded in Victoria state’s Murray Sunset National Park when following the map app’s directions to a city more than 40 miles away, CNET reports. Some iPhone users were stranded in the park for two hours without enough food and water.

Police in the area have urged drivers to rely on other forms of mapping. “Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the park,” they said in a statement, warning that temperatures in the park could reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit, making the map problem “a potentially life-threatening issue.” Apple has yet to comment on the issue.

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  • emperorreagan

    I think turn-by-turn directions by any GPS device are horrible, no matter who manufactures the device.

    I use my phone GPS similar to how I used a regular map – get a general route, verify that it’s pointing at where I actually want to go, mentally note major turns and intersections I should look for – then I turn it off. The first two steps are inverted (and conveniently so, because looking up streets and finding the appropriate grid was a pain in the ass), but otherwise I use it the same way.

    I’d be curious as to how GPS and turn-by-turn directions have impacted accident numbers. I would imagine they have caused an measurable increase – people jumping across multiple lanes of traffic, running lights, turning the wrong way down one way streets, or any of a number of other things depending on the time of the announcement from the GPS.

    • http://www.facebook.com/shelley.hansongriffiths Shelley Hanson Griffiths

      I should hope that a person could sue the GPS co. if it were at fault and caused an accident.

      • Artor

        I should hope that people wouldn’t be so stupid as to trust a GPS unit over common sense & visual observation.

        • emperorreagan

          That would be my hope too, but I think it’s misplaced.

  • InfvoCuernos

    I remember the good old days when you needed to know where the fuck you going, and if you needed to call and ask directions, you had to pull over, get out and call on a PAY PHONE! Oh, and the only music you had to listen to was on staticy radio that played nothing but Elton John and we liked it!

    • Artor

      Hell, I’d love some Elton John on roadtrips through the boonies. I always get stuck with country music and Xtian radio. Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids, in fact it’s cold as hell…

  • BuzzCoastin

    I trust the machines to tell me the truth
    therefore, I am not

  • “Big” Richard Johnson

    Everything in Aussie land wants to kill you, including the GPS.