Computerworld’s David Ramel sums up the rash of stories about drivers getting into trouble by (blindly) following directions from their GPS navigation device. “These things actually seem to happen fairly often,” he writes. “For some reason, most of them occur in Great Britain.” Via The Truth About Cars.
Ramel’s blog entry is long on anecdotes and short on explanations; for a look at the big picture (including why it may be happening more often in the UK), see the following previous entries: Another GPS Navigation Incident: Some Questions; New York Times on GPS Navigation Accidents.
On a personal note, several of our friends managed to be two hours late getting to a party we hosting despite having two — two! — navigation systems in the car with them; the gadgets kept putting them in the opposite direction until they (finally!) got straightened out. Before these gadgets, people who had no idea how to get where they were going would ask for directions or — gasp — buy a map. In the end, our friends had to call us for help — which is what they would have had to do in the first place, if they hadn’t had the navigation systems.