back to article Van driver follows satnav up goat-track, gets stuck on mountain

A Swiss van driver got stuck near the top a mountain after his satnav directed him onto a "glorified goat track". A helicopter crew winched Robert Ziegler, 37, and his van to safety - check out the amazing photos of his rescue. Ziegler told police he was lost but pressed on, hoping to find a way back to the main road. Rescue …

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FAIL

why do they always blame the satnav?

"The satnav took me up the track", no it directed you up the track. You were the one bloody well driving dick head!

They really should get the guy to pay for the rescue. Same with all these twats that blame the sat nav for their idiocy!

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Marked as a road?

While driving through France and Spain, I'm constantly amazed at what my Satnav software has marked as a road. This is not about stupid people following instructions blindly (though there is often a lot of that, as well). No, this is about why things that are so obviously footpaths, goat trails, muddy tracks and farmer's shortcuts are even included in the cartography as being potential routes, at all. I've not driven in Switzerland but have had my fair share of daft instructions from a multitude (Oh, alright: three) different GPSs in various cars urging me to take turnings which have been barely discernible as places where you'd herd sheep, let alone want to take motorised transport.

So while we may laugh at people who do whatever the voice from the little box tells them to, there is also a large portion of blame due to whoever programmed these non-roads into the databases in the first place.

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FAIL

That's my point...

you (I'm guessing) used some common sense and didn't go up those turnings. Driving up a MARKED footpath is a stupid thing to do. If he couldn't make out that the "road" wasn't suitable for his vehicle he shouldn't be driving.

Sat Navs are there to make life easier, not to stop you having to think all together. If an old style paper map shows a road being there that isn't any more would you still take it because the map said so?

A Sat Nav is just a high-tech map, these idiots need to grasp that.

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FAIL

Pftt

white van man ...

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Not over yet

The rescuers may have been charitable but see how charitable the authorities will turn out to be.

In Switzerland you just don't drive up a marked footpath. Seriously - you don't. Ever.

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Anonymous Coward

I always used to laugh at people over-relying on satnav.

Until mine died whilst i was in the fast lane of the m6, going somewhere i'd never been before.

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Coat

Fast lane?

What, you needed the sat-nav to find the fast lane?

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What?

There's a fast lane on the M6??

Charge him for the rescue, I say.

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FAIL

Fast lane!!!

There is no fast lane on any motorway, let alone on the carpark that is the M6.

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Pint

Poor Sod

I'm sure he'll get a hammering for his 'stupidity' but as someone who made a wrong turn (well before SatNav was invented) it's a predicament which is easy to get into and hard to get out of if it's not recognised early on.

You may soon suspect it's all gone pear-shaped but you often can't turn nor go back; so what do you do? Keep going and pray to god there's somewhere to turn or a road to safety as panic sets in. Only as it gets worse do you realise, with hindsight, it may have been better to stop earlier than later, that the bet on an escape route failed. That's human nature.

I once entered a single lane road leading to a car park; no indication that it was pay on entry and I had no cash on me, and a queue of cars behind me. When it reached the inevitable impasse did that make me a fool?

Laugh all you want, but remember, "There, but for the grace of god, go I".

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If Ziegler had been really good...

My first thought was also just drive back where you came from. Then again, if he had been really good he would have paid some attention where he was going to and not blindly follow a machine.

ROTM? Nay, it didn't kill him.

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Stop

Whoa

should we not have a NSFW logo on here?

That link took me direct to the Daily Mail website

anyone in the office could have seen me looking at that

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Joke

Let me guess

He was using Ovi maps and its superb routing algorithm? :-)

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Been there, done that...

I was driving a Chrysler New-Yorker through Yosemite in the days before satnav, following the map. I decided to take an alternative route, which started as a 2 lane road and later reduced to single lane but properly surfaced. But then, single track roads are not unusual in the country, right? Unfortunately, about 5 miles after that it turned into a track, which is also nothing unusual, but that deteriorated over time until it was just mud. Naturally there was no place to turn and reversing the whole way didn’t look like a good idea either, so on you go.

The funniest part was the various looks of astonishment from the dirt-bike and mountain-bike riders while driving down the other side.

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Driving? In Yosemite?

There's your problem ...

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Anonymous Coward

Single-track roads

If you're on a single-track road intended for use by cars there should be passing places. If you've gone more than a few hundred metres without seeing a passing place in which you could turn round then you should probably stop going forwards and start reversing. (Turning round on a single track road with a trailer when it's dark and it's raining and the air is full of midges is not fun but sometimes you've got to do it. You have to get out and move the trailer by hand, of course, and get totally covered by grease as you blunder around in the dark with only one eye open at a time because of the midges flying into them ...)

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there should be passing places

Nope. Been on plenty of single track roads through rural areas which don't have passing places. Maybe the odd gate into a field or so, but by no means consistent.

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Thumb Down

You ba$tard$

you made me go to the daily mail website. Not HP.

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Human stupidity.

The only infinite thing known to mankind ...

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Well, we may laugh about satnavs

But when I blindly followed the directions the missus gave me while in Germany, my first indication that we may have drifted just a little off course was a roundabout sign: 'Vous n'avez pas la priorité'.

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Coat

Coincidentally...

...something similar happened in May 1940...

"Eva, are you sure zis iz zer right vay?"

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Bronze badge

It could be worse

I recall a story from the late and much lamented John Peel. Finally giving up the arguments with his wife on direction finding on a holiday trip in Scotland, he decided on the quiet life and to just follow his wife's map reading instructions without question. He reported that they ended up on the coast, it just happened to be the one on the opposite side of the country to their intended destination.

No doubt I'll be in trouble with Ms. Bee for this annecdote reinforcing the outdated stereotype of hopeless feminine direction finding.

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Silver badge

I know this is totaly off topic, but ...

"I recall a story from the late and much lamented John Peel. Finally giving up the arguments with his wife on direction finding on a holiday trip in Scotland"

You mean "the Pig", not "his wife", Shirley?[1]

One of my favorite memories of John was his interview with Siouxsie Sioux, and his playing of the entire Banshees "The Scream" album over the air a couple weeks before it's general release. Auntie Beeb allowing the uncensored replay the following Saturday afternoon was astonishing. I managed to record it on half-inch tape (actual half-inch tape, not slang for cassette ;-)

The other favorite memory was his first (for the UK) airing of The B52s "Rock Lobster". At the end of the tune, he mused "I wonder what tanning butter is? Probably something that Paul Gambaccini would spill onto a marzipan omelet ..."

[1] Yes, I know, her name is Sheila. Rest in piece, John. You are missed by many, world wide. Pardon me while I play Roy Harper's "When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease", with a tear in my eye ...

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The GPS is wonderful

But highly over-rated. One took me across a field, and while it worked out well I was amazed at what it considered an acceptable route. I was on some back country roads, and did not want to go down a couple of gravel roads, so I would try an alternative. I was being a bit adventurous anyway, so it didn't bother me.

It does make you wonder about the competence of the person that entered the data into the GPS maps when they decided to include a footpath to nowhere. It takes two to create this mess, one to provide a bogus route, and another to follow it.

The other possibility is that the satnav unit was lost, and that is not a comforting thought either.

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Happy

Robert Ziegler, and his van

I am sure just the wan was winched, not that it matters of course.

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Anonymous Coward

And this is in "Hardware" because?

Oh! Silly me... the van, of course.

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Coat

Evolution

If the guy could have died due to bad satnav, Would darwin say nature selected him for his stupidity, or could we start to entertain natural selection by software ?!

For example: could there one be a trend about people using Apple living longer than people using windows, or as it were, people using in car satnav, against tomtom

mmmmh

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Gold badge

GPS lack of information

"It does make you wonder about the competence of the person that entered the data into the GPS maps when they decided to include a footpath to nowhere."

The problem is it's all outsourced, usually through several layers, and not from the "old hat" companies that have the most detailed info. The old Rand McNally maps used to have interstates, multilane highways (more than 1 lane each way), 2 lane highways (1 lane each way), then "everything else", but with seperate colorings for gravel roads and for dirt roads so you'd have a good chance of avoiding them if possible. The GPS companies do not get data from them. The maps (and GPS) I've seen from newer vendors do not have that many categories, so the GPS company and the GPS unit just do not get the level of data they need to make an intelligent decision.

Anyway.. Several things I do when I use GPS. First, before I start going I will look at the route to see if it seems reasonable. If I don't get a chance to do that, I at least glance to see if a road looks like a junky dirt track before I turn on to it and if it is, I don't turn, I let it go ahead and start "recalculating route". It's hard though, it's REALLY easy to just blindly follow it's directions! I did follow them once, where it had me exit from a highway then IMMEDIATELY get back on (I didn't even get to get out of the weave lane) -- in it's mind, it saved like 500 feet off the trip so it was a good idea.

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