[LINK] Family rescued after GPS blunder

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Tue Aug 3 15:37:54 AEST 2010

Roger Clarke wrote:
>> On Tue, Aug 03, 2010 at 01:21:35PM +1000, Marghanita da Cruz wrote:
>>>  > They say the GPS instructed the driver to travel along a closed road
>>>  > near Wilcannia, and the driver ignored the road closure signs.
>>                         ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> At 14:50 +1000 3/8/10, Craig Sanders wrote:
>> this is the crucial point.  it proves beyond any doubt that it is
>> the fault of the GPS unit and its manufacturer.
> Craig's sarcasm is well-justified.
> But unfortunately there's a pattern of human behaviour here, i.e. 
> these nonsenses will keep recurring, because people are like that.
There does seem to be a behavioural thing at work here. I've seen people 
really stumped when the GPS is yelling "Turn left now", but the road is 
closed (I saw this when the Great Western Highway was closed by an 
accident at Wentworth Falls, and the police were diverting drivers off 
the highway. After obeying the police, the *next* thing many people did 
was try to obey the now-upset GPS.)

> I get very strange looks from people when I explain why I'm not 
> interested in having a satnav, nor even a GPS-enabled handheld at 
> this stage.
> I have a half a clue when I'm driving and when I'm walking.  And I 
> want to keep it that way.
> It's not easy to remain switched-on to the real world around you when 
> you submit to the authority of a machine that claims to be always 
> right - and whose errors you have difficulty picking, and even 
> greater difficulty proving to be errors.
> I get more than enough positive feedback for my heretical views.
> For example, various GPS-based devices give different readings for 
> the same location.  And friends were recently unimpressed with 
> Angelika's instructions to take the second exit from a roundabout to 
> get onto the Autostrada, when the correct instruction would have been 
> the *third* exit.  When combined with a second error (which was part 
> GPS, part mediocre road-signage), that cost them 90km and over an 
> hour.  But because she got them back on the right road (eventually), 
> they continue to trust her ...

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