It seems like we’re hearing more and more of these stories, where someone follows their in-dash GPS unit somewhere that they shouldn’t, like into a lake or over a cliff. This time it was a chartered bus in Seattle that drove under a bridge with low clearance and sheared off most of the roof. The driver’s excuse? The GPS told him to drive that way.
Now of course this is idiotic. The driver should have seen the bridge coming, and should have seen the height limits and the flashing lights. But more than that it’s indicative of a larger problem, where people so hate reading maps and doing any kind of trip planning that they’ll take any shortcuts available to them. Even if it means trusting completely in a computer that’s trying to read a map, and not doing a good job. Always remember: computers are stupid. And even the best GPS unit is going to send you driving around in circles sooner or later. Or right into a bridge. Better to just turn off the voice and use the GPS as a map, and figure out where you’re going on your own.
Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog