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Apple Maps Flaw Sends Drivers Across Airport Runway 311

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the wrong-turn dept.
solareagle writes "The BBC reports that an Alaskan airport says it has had to place barricades across one of its taxiways after an Apple Maps flaw resulted in iPhone users driving across a runway. The airport said it had complained to the phone-maker through the local attorney general's office. 'We asked them to disable the map for Fairbanks until they could correct it, thinking it would be better to have nothing show up than to take the chance that one more person would do this,' Melissa Osborn, chief of operations at the airport, told the Alaska Dispatch newspaper. The airport said it had been told the problem would be fixed by Wednesday. However the BBC still experienced the issue when it tested the app, asking for directions to the site from a property to the east of the airport. By contrast the Google Maps app provided a different, longer route which takes drivers to the property's car park."
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Apple Maps Flaw Sends Drivers Across Airport Runway

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  • Credulousness (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Freshly Exhumed (105597) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @01:38PM (#44950327) Homepage

    Now we see why big corporations retain batteries of lawyers to write voluminous "I Agree" waivers.

  • by guruevi (827432) <<evi> <at> <smokingcube.be>> on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @01:40PM (#44950345) Homepage

    How did the driver get it onto the airport taxiways? I live pretty close to an airport and the taxiways are all very barricaded, you can't just drive onto an airport without someone noticing.

  • by Xolotl (675282) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @01:48PM (#44950473) Journal
    I agree with GP .. this is an international airport with 737 jet airliners. Yet the only thing stopping them was a "motion-activated gate". This is 2013 ... if nothing else, where was the TSA?
  • by PenguSven (988769) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @01:49PM (#44950485)
    And it's Apple's fault that this route is open to drivers? Apple's data comes from third parties - a lot of it is aggregated by the likes of TomTom etc, from local authorities. Remember the bullshit about people getting lost in Victoria (australia) looking for a town called Mildura? The local mapping data had two locations for Mildura - one in the middle of a forrest, one where the town is. Any idiot that follows a navigation app's directions off a highway onto either a dirt track through a forrest or onto a fucking runway, deserves it. They are assistants, not foolproof deities.
  • Re:Credulousness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @01:56PM (#44950593)
    People go to new places fairly regularly. Not everyone has every road and destination for a hundred miles around memorized. In this case it is an Airport, and quite a few people who are going to fly (or pick someone up, or just arrived) are not going to go to the place frequently enough to memorize the roads around it. I think I go to my local one maybe once every 5 years or so, plenty of time to not remember the roads around it.
  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @02:02PM (#44950707) Homepage Journal

    Also, what kind of moron actually drives through an airport just because their eyePhone tells them to?

    The kind who thinks this sort of thing could never ever ever happen with an autonomous car.

  • by DarkTempes (822722) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @02:10PM (#44950789)
    Wait a second, so the TSA makes me take my shoes off and treats me like a criminal but people can just drive their car right up to the runway with nothing to stop them?
  • Re:Bureaucracy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by magsol (1406749) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @02:13PM (#44950829) Journal
    Have you tried to get technical assistance from Apple without visiting their Genius Bars? It's like they don't want you to speak directly with a human being. Though I have to admit, the thought of airport officials walking into the Genius Bar of an Apple Store is more than a little amusing.
  • Re:calendar check. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @02:23PM (#44950947)
    In some parts of the world, "by Wednesday" means "before Wednesday". It's like the differences between "next/this/last weekend" in different regions of the US.
  • Re:calendar check. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by networkBoy (774728) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @02:47PM (#44951247) Homepage Journal

    Even then though, did the BBC check before 0:00:01 cupertino time?
    May still have been Tuesday...

  • lemmings (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ilec_geek (1542187) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @03:03PM (#44951437)
    Are Apple Maps users really this dumb? Did you get a clue the map might be in error when it directed you TOWARDS the place where the big airplanes are? What happens if the map directs you over a cliff? Will that help cleanse the world of Apple brainwashed morons?
  • by iamhassi (659463) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @03:33PM (#44951787) Journal
    Airport's fault. No one should be able to drive their car right onto the runway, no matter what GPS or voice in their heads is telling them. Fire whoever runs this airport because they're a moron for not putting a fence up
  • by neonKow (1239288) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @03:45PM (#44951953) Journal

    Airport's fault. No one should be able to drive their car right onto the runway, no matter what GPS or voice in their heads is telling them. Fire whoever runs this airport because they're a moron for not putting a fence up

    I think it's pretty reasonable to think that a MILE of warning signs that you might get hit by a freaking plane is enough deterant.

    And before you keep going on about physical security, remember that stupid is always going to find a way.

    From TFA:

    "They had to enter the airport property via a motion-activated gate, and afterwards there are many signs, lights and painted markings, first warning that aircraft may share the road and then that drivers should not be there at all.

    "They needed to drive over a mile with all this before reaching the runway. But the drivers disregarded all that because they were following the directions given on their iPhones."

    These aren't drunk frat boys pulling some shenaigans in the middle of the night. These are fully competent, licensed drivers who turned off their own brains and replaced them with iPhones. This is NOT the airport's fault. It's called personal responsibility.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @03:54PM (#44952049)

    Right. So the TSA are x-raying and groping passengers, meanwhile the gates are open for anyone who wants to go joy-riding on the runway. Seems inconsistent.

  • by Skater (41976) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @03:58PM (#44952091) Homepage Journal
    That's a much safer error than the one in the article, though. But I've found errors in standalone GPS devices, too; our first one had our house - built in the 60s and never moved or renumbered - on the wrong side of the street. The only story here is that people blindly follow their GPS navigation and turn off their brain, which isn't exactly new either. In fact, people turning off their brain when they drive is a pretty old story, too. So, yeah, now I'm wondering why I clicked on this story.
  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @04:10PM (#44952297)

    These are fully competent, licensed drivers who turned off their own brains and replaced them with iPhones. This is NOT the airport's fault. It's called personal responsibility.

    No, it's called "loyal Apple users".

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @07:02PM (#44954327) Journal

    This is part of a MUCH larger problem I call "the machine never lies" which i have run into MANY times and it goes like this...if common sense tells you one thing and a machine another? The machine never lies so you are incorrect. I have had to call a manager when a cash register said change for a hundred with a 9 dollar purchase was 11 dollars, common sense would tell you that its wrong but the girl simply refused to believe the machine COULD be wrong so hence the manager. I had to go through that again recently when a relative passed on, the moron at the desk refused to believe she didn't owe property taxes for this year...on a piece of property she had sold over a decade ago. Again the machine doesn't lie so no matter what it says they believe it.

    As more and more crap like built in mapping end up on every phone I have a feeling we'll see a lot of morons driving off of bridges, driving out in front of trains, as long as the machine tells them to? The little lemmings will march on...God who would have thought that Idiocracy would end up being a documentary?

  • by jeremyp (130771) on Thursday September 26, 2013 @05:18AM (#44957587) Homepage Journal

    Its primarily the users fault for trusting the GPS implicitly and ignoring the signs and the fact they were driving onto a bloody runway. This says a lot about Apple users.

    No. It says nothing about Apple users at all. It says the two people who drove across a runway are idiots. You don't know that there weren't many, many other Apple users who said "the instructions take me across a runway, so I'll ignore them". You also don't know how many Google/TomTom/Garmin etc users would have done the same thing if presented with erroneous instructions.

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