An Alaskan airport had to close an aircraft access route because several people blindly obeyed the navigation orders of their inaccurate Apple Maps app.
In the past three weeks, two motorists drove along the taxiway and then across a runway at the Fairbanks International airport, the BBC reports. To be fair, Apple only takes credit for directing them to the taxiway.
Fairbanks complained to Apple through the local attorney general’s office, asking the company to disable the map until it was corrected to avoid any more dangerous situations.
Apple apparently responded that it would fix the problem by Wednesday, and directions to the airport seemed to be disabled when we tested.
In the meantime, the airport erected barricades to block access to the final stretch of the taxiway.
Ever since Apple ditched Google Maps (which, incidentally, directs drivers to avoid the taxiway), it’s faced criticism for having multiple errors, including confusing a farm named “Airfield” with the Dublin Airport and stranding Australian drivers in a national park.
Recently, Apple has snapped up several other transportation apps and CEO Tim Cook promised on the company’s website that “we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”
Of course, Apple is not entirely to blame for the Fairbanks fiasco. After all, drivers should always let their common sense overrule their app’s robotic voice.
The assistant manager of the Fairbanks airport, Angie Spear, described the drivers’ mix-ups to the BBC:
They must have been persistent. 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.
Thankfully, no one was injured.
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