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back to article Apple Maps directs drivers INTO path of ONCOMING PLANES

It's easy to blame Apple Maps: but why on earth did an airport have a highway-adjoining access road without a manned gate? That's the question The Register is asking after this story popped up in the Alaska Dispatch: “At least twice in the past three weeks, drivers from out of town who followed the directions on their iPhones …

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Anonymous Coward

Thats strange...

..the bus following me has wings...

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Happy

Re: Thats strange...

It's an Airbus.

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Re: Thats strange...

Whether the gate is locked or not, it is no ones fault but the driver. Common sense using your brain and two eyes should have been enough to prevent this.

It's amazing that some people blame the technology and everything BUT the driver.

Follow a Tom Tom sat nav from WINSFORD to NORTHWICH and it will take you down a small single track to a railway crossing that has not been opened in 50 years. Seven warning sign tell the driver it is a dead end, not suitable for large vehicles and is access to properties only.

Yet on a regular basis lorries and coaches have to be towed out.

Sat nav has turned drivers into empty headed zombies.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thats strange...

If Apple users had common sense, they wouldn't be Apple Users!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thats strange...

"If Apple users had common sense, they wouldn't be Apple Users!"

Well said, and every day we are entertained at the levels of stupidity.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thats strange...

Can you imagine how many signs they had to pass to actually get onto the runway - or at least one would hope - I know it's not exactly JFK or Heathrow but really.

Also I'm sure I've also seen news stories of Garmin (and other GPS / Sat Nav users) ending stuck up minor tracks etc. - so can anyone really claim any sat nav product is perfect?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thats strange...

Maybe have a look at Gibraltar airport where the road actually goes across the runway! This is stupid drivers and an obvious error in routing - if it showed a route that lead into the sea would you drive straight in??

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Re: Thats strange...

Well, reportedly people have driven directly into the water when they should have waited for a ferry, so yes.

(Possibly an urban myth of course)

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Paris Hilton

Re: Thats strange...

"if it showed a route that lead into the sea would you drive straight in??"

Yes and it will become a Murder She Wrote story line!

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Re: the bus following me has wings.

Digression. I once flew on a commuter flight about 200 miles down the US east coast on a plane that looked almost exactly like a Leyland single-decker bus with wings and a tailplane bolted on top. Square fuselage section. The least aerodynamic-looking aeroplane I'd ever seen, and that's including WW1 fighters. A prop-driven thing, unpressurized, with a howling gale coming in under the door and over my feet, so my toes were all but frostbitten by the time I arrived.

Even so, remember thinking Boston to Long Island airport by plane beats JFK and the Long Island Expressway(*) hands down. (*) Equates to the M25 on a bad day but with more potholes, and more^2 cars.

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Re: Thats strange...

A lot of drivers *have* *always* *been* empty headed zombies... satnav is just giving them more opportunities to darwinate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thats strange...

Darwin Awards. No need to fix iOS

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Joke

Re: Thats strange...

It's a feature! And, yes, you're quite welcome.

Shtum... but an imminent update will include a means to silence media types insistent on highlighting such beneficial-to-the-human-gene-pool features. Can't wait, myself.

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Re: Thats strange...

SO TRUE - they are the sort of people who fall for the "new release of IOS waterproofs your iPhone" trick!!!!

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/sep/26/waterproof-iphone-ad-hoax-tricked-users-into-destroying-their-handsets

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FAIL

Highway to heaven...

While it's tempting to have a go at Apple Maps, the real problem here is the airport security.

There seems little point in scanning passengers and baggage when some geographically-challenged person terrorist can simply drive on to the runway through an open gate and crash into target an aircraft.

Which part of "secure the perimeter" didn't they understand?

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Re: Highway to heaven...

Presumably the TSA will now check the motorists for nail clippers and make them put 2oz bottles of eye drops into plastic bags - before allowing them onto the runway ?

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Re: Highway to heaven...

Highway to heaven, pretty close yes. Unless next time Apple takes you onto the Cape Canaveral launch ramp, which would be closer.

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Re: Highway to heaven...

"While it's tempting to have a go at Apple Maps". It is indeed, rout optimizing such a fine thing, still I think the airport is to blame.

Is this sentence "And the airport has issued a notice to pilots suggesting they “remain vigilant when on the east ramp, watch for drivers who appear unfamiliar and report them to the airport" aimed at pilots taking off?. A bit unfair I think.

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Re: Highway to heaven...

To be fair, from Fairbanks northward, Alaska is a place best left to people who would have realized something was wrong before they got that far.

There's an active airfield that crosses the Dalton Highway not too far north of Fairbanks. There's fuck all but some flashing lights to warn you a plane is going to land/takeoff where you're currently driving. In Fairbanks there's at least an actual airport with traditional airport structures everywhere; it is hard to miss...

We used to have an outpost in Deadhorse and I have to say, the majority of people up there are not nearly as clueless as elsewhere. Being stupid or unaware will get you dead quick.

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Re: Highway to heaven...

What I really don't understand is how this happened more than once before they decided they need to do something.

No check that, it never should have happened even once, regardless of where their phone told them to go. Of all the people who worked at the airport and knew it was possible for just anyone to drive onto the main runway, didn't someone mention it to the powers that be?

I find it almost impossible to think they hadn't done so, many times. Whoever they went to and got the brush off from (maybe because not having a fence there saves him a few minutes getting to/from work) should be fired.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Highway to heaven...

There's a couple of issues with the Maps and the POIs on the map.

Nothing new here, Just incomplete data.

This is one reason why Nokia has an advantage. They have HERE. (Not that I like the name...)

The only good thing is that because the map data i centrally controlled its easy to update a fix.

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Anonymous Coward

RAF Machrihanish

Remember Paul McCartney and Mull of Kintyre?

Lived on the RAF station in my early teens and used to have to cross over the runway to get to the beach, in the days when 13/14 year olds were still allowed to stalk the land with their friends armed with air rifles. Those were the days. We were just told to look left and right and then cross.

Have fond memories of my mum driving the old Ford Cortina XL with black vinyl roof and breaking down right on the centre line of the runway... Happy Days.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: RAF Machrihanish

Lived on the RAF station in my early teens and used to have to cross over the runway to get to the beach

Think you drive across the airport runway to get in or out of Gibraltar. Maybe the Spanish will start to use the excuse of "safety to aircraft" as one of their reasons for delaying everyone at the border

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Highway to heaven...

"While it's tempting to have a go at Apple Maps, the real problem here is the airport security."

No it isn't. It's only iFools following sat nav blindly AND Crapple Maps being wildly inaccurate.

Google maps delivers you to the door, not the taxi way.

It's just yet another Apple FAIL!

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Re: Highway to heaven...

"While it's tempting to have a go at Apple Maps, the real problem here is the airport security."

That was my first thought. Who attaches a runway to a public road? What person thought that made sense?

There's a little town in Oregon that has a small general aviation airfield next to a Chinese restaurant, so the enterprising owners of the restaurant extended a taxiway into their parking lot and provide small aircraft tie-downs in said parking lot. Makes flying into town for a bit of take-out easy, I suppose, but I still question the wisdom of connecting runways to roads.

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Re: Highway to heaven...

>>Google maps delivers you to the door, not the taxi way.

No they don't. I bought my first Android phone yesterday, played with Google Maps and it instantly directly me down a cul-de-sac as if it was a through road! (I knew it was a cul-de-sac so didn't follow it).

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Re: Highway to heaven...Is Shown With Paper Streets

A significant issue here in the US are what are called "paper streets". They are the streets, roads and highways show on official maps but may or may not have any bearing in reality. The huge network of roads in any given place is managed by a combination of city, county, state and Federal agencies; which all use different maps which are all updated at different times.

The Satnav people have to get their data from somewhere and it usually starts with the official maps. Google maps shoes a road about half a mile from my house that in the last seven years I had never noticed. It is labeled at a main state road so I couldn't have missed it. I went for a walk where this road was supposed to be, and after a while I came across old guardrail marking the edge of the road. The surface had been covered over and nature had almost eliminated any indications of the road. After some research I discovered the road was rerouted in 1976... It was still on all the official maps, but there hasn't been a road there in nearly 40 years.

The little town up the road from me shows several streets on their official maps, as do higher level maps based on those, but the roads were never built. The original town layout, from 1848 when those roads were planned is still the information source used by all the satnav companies. One of the roads is shown on Google Maps as a continuous street with one name. In reality it is two dead end streets with a huge ravine between them: A bridge was supposed to be built there but never was. They gave each road a new name, but the paper source maps were never updated, creating paper streets that appear only on paper.

Paper streets real problem these days, anywhere outside of major cities. It wasn't always such a big deal, but people also used to know how to read maps and find work arounds if something was wrong.

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Re: Highway to heaven...

And did you update the information?

My home was marked as being a few hundred meters down the road, where a building with a similar name exists.

Got my first device with GPS last year, and saw the error.. Reported it, and the change went live a few days later.

Now I get noticeably fewer takeaway delivery people unable to find me.

Any GPS system is only as good as the maps it uses, so make them better. Be the change you want to be.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Highway to heaven...

SIRI must kill all the fleshlings to prepare the Robot-Apocalypse!

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Security theatre aside, wouldn't a bit of yellow tape strung across the entrance kinda indicate that this is not an entrance for unauthorised personnel?

Really. Couple of $ worth of yellow gaffer tape to tide them over until the airport can afford a barrier. Emergency vehicles can still plough on through, and you'd have to be exceptionally, undeserving-of-a-driving-license thick in order to not notice it.

There. No need to thank me. Just get it done before some lost driver collapses some undercarriage and makes a few hundred people go splat.

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I think

you underestimate the stupidity of people in general, especially those that follow the directions of a satnav blindly.

They would see the tape and assume it didn't apply to them because the sat nav said it was ok....

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"Security theatre aside, wouldn't a bit of yellow tape strung across the entrance kinda indicate that this is not an entrance for unauthorised personnel?"

Pretty sure a sign saying

RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS - KEEP CLEAR !!!11!!

would be more effective these days.

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don't blame the public, the sign gives permission to drive on the taxiway

You could read the actual physical sign and still go ahead, so don't blame the public.

"Proceed with caution.

All roadways

in this area are

used by aircraft

Yield to

Taxing Aircraft"

They don't need yellow tape, they have a barrier, but the barrier is up.

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Anonymous Coward

"Security theatre aside, wouldn't a bit of yellow tape strung across the entrance kinda indicate that this is not an entrance for unauthorised personnel?

Really. Couple of $ worth of yellow gaffer tape to tide them over until the airport can afford a barrier. Emergency vehicles can still plough on through, and you'd have to be exceptionally, undeserving-of-a-driving-license thick in order to not notice it.

There. No need to thank me. Just get it done before some lost driver collapses some undercarriage and makes a few hundred people go splat."

That's why no one listens to you. You can't even see the folly in your own advice.

Shocking!

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Re: don't blame the public, the sign gives permission to drive on the taxiway

Taxing Aircraft? Are they the tiring ones or the ones who work for the revenue?

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Facepalm

The only thing a mechanic can't fix

Is the loose nut behind the wheel.

Situations like this are both an argument for, and against, self driving cars. You would like to trust the car, but it wouldnt guard against idiot owners, and bad programming.

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Facepalm

Re: The only thing a mechanic can't fix

I wonder what kind of disclaimer you would have to accept to use a self driving car -

"Under no circumstances shall the maker, or anyone who distributes or maintains covered vehicle be liable to You for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any character including, without limitation, damages for lost profits, loss of goodwill, or loss of your life."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The only thing a mechanic can't fix

In this particular case it is the ones operating the airport.

With all due respect, Fairbanks is an international airport. There _MUST_ not be a way for unauthorized personnel to get onto the runway (especially with a vehicle). Just goes to show that security circus is what it is - circus. Frisking innocent passengers while someone can take a fertilizer truck onto the runway.

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Paris Hilton

Re: The only thing a mechanic can't fix

What's wrong with gardening?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The only thing a mechanic can't fix

I'm pretty staggered that in a developed country you can get onto the runway by passing through one open, unmanned barrier.

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Re: The only thing a mechanic can't fix

I know of a military airbase with operational supersonic fighters where you can drive onto the runway. It isn't in Britain, but it is in the EU. I'm not going to say where, but they fly Swedish-made jets ...

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Re: The only thing a mechanic can't fix

"and bad programming"

Come on it took them to the centre of the airport, if they didn't specify a carpark like most Sat Nags it will place it in the centre.

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Google maps doesn't send you to the runway

It sends you to the "Bush Pilot Restaurant and Lounge" at the airport, with a cocktail glass symbol.

Wouldn't want the bush pilots flying without a few cocktails first.

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not entirely blame apple but...

Of course due to legal things they will not say anything like "Sorry about that - we'll try harder" , but it does bug me a little that big companies like apple roll out a half baked solution that does have real implications and don't really take any responsibility for it. Medical equipment and aviation equipment have standards to meet so why not maps - people can get lost and die or get run over by a 737.

There is a reason Nokia took a very long time to release maps - they wanted to be sure they were right.

Google took a long time to get it right and here comes apple who shit unicorns so lets not question that their maps will be perfect... we're all obviously using them wrong.

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Re: not entirely blame apple but...

@jeremy - "it does bug me a little that big companies like apple roll out a half baked solution that does have real implications and don't really take any responsibility for it"

I would agree, but every time I drive to San Antonio and get on the upper deck of the highway interchange, my Garmin GPS tells me to jump the guard rail and crash my car onto the lower deck of the highway. My general tendency is not to follow these instructions that would lead to my certain death.

Sometimes, no matter how reputable the mapping company, the driver has to pay attention and apply real-world driving skills rather than following GPS directions. There's no way in hell I would ever drive a car out onto an airport runway. I don't see any real fault for Apple here - this is just a small number of drivers trying to make their way onto the annual Darwin Awards list.

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Re: not entirely blame apple but...

Do you really think that Google Maps doesn't have any bugs? Maybe the really stupid ones like this have been found and fixed, but Google Maps was not introduced to the world in a perfect state and still isn't perfect. I remember when it first came out I tried it a bit and stuck with Mapquest because it was so terrible.

If computer assisted mapping technology had to be perfect before it could be deployed, we'd all still be driving around with the Rand McNally Road Atlas my dad always took along anytime we went on a long family trip somewhere.

I just don't understand how people don't pay attention to their surroundings just because their phone or their GPS tells them where to turn. If they had someone in the passenger seat telling them where to go and he told them to turn onto an airport runway, I think they might be more likely to question it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: not entirely blame apple but...

So Nokia maps are perfect? Yeah right. Things change quicker than mapping companies could keep up to date and remember many buy-in the data from 3rd parties anyway - so if someone else uses the same mapping data Apple did they may have the same bug.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: not entirely blame apple but...

"I don't see any real fault for Apple here"

WHAT! Thanks that your not in charge.

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bong

"In 150 yards, turn left to join the A380"

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Re: bong

"Then please switch your phone to flight mode"

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