December 11, 2012

Wrong Turn: Apple Maps Leads Drivers to Desert


The new Apple maps feature continues to come under fire, a few months after Apple’s CEO Tim Cook was forced to apologize for some flaws with the new mapping software. The latest trouble comes from Australia, where travelers were being led into potentially dangerous situations.

Australian police warned travelers to be weary of the mobile software, as incorrect directions were leading travelers to the end of a dirt-road, instead of their intended location.  Some travelers, who were searching for the town of Mildura in the state of Victoria, were being led to Murray-Sunset National Park – about 43 miles from the actual location.

Victoria police said they’ve had to rescue a few travelers who have gotten lost in the park. Murray-Sunset National Park, located in southern Australia, is nearly 2,000 square miles and can have desert-like conditions.

"Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees (115 degrees Fahrenheit), making this a potentially life threatening issue," police said in a statement.

As many as six people have reportedly been stranded in the park in the last 30 days due to inaccurate directions, with some having been stranded for more than 24 hours. The desert-like conditions, along with virtually zero cell phone reception, can subject travelers to unsafe conditions or locations too far from civilization if followed for long enough.

"If you're stuck out there in that you haven't prepared, you've got nothing, you could be in a fair bit of trouble," said Mildura police inspector Simon Clemence. The Apple Maps feature, introduced with the iOS6 update in September, has come under fire the last few months since deciding to ditch the Google Maps feature, in favor of its own operating system. The new Maps feature does offer turn-by-turn directions – something Google did not. 

Apple has since dropped the pin in the correct location, although some drivers coming from the southern part of the state are still being lead into the park.




Edited by Braden Becker



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