Posts Tagged ‘gps car tracking’
In the 1960’s, Stanley Milgram conducted a set of experiments testing what insane lengths people would go to when being instructed by someone with authority. In one experiment participants were told to administer a series of increasingly severe electric shocks to another person. Twenty-six out of forty participants continued to the end including a final deadly 450 Volt shock.
Are we seeing a similar phenomenon with the modern GPS? Some people treat their Satellite Navigation systems as an ultimate authority and follow the directions without question, even when it would seem obvious that they are going the wrong way, sometimes not even on the road.
Here’s 8 mind boggling driving blunders that have been blamed on GPS;
Up a Hiking Trail
Robert Ziegler and his van had to be airlifted off of a Swiss mountain after he followed his GPS’s directions to drive onto a hiking path and up a mountain. Ziegler said he kept hoping that around the next bend he would find the road again but it never came. Eventually he was instructed to turn around but, by then, it was too late.
Into the Mud
Three young Japanese tourists got stuck in the mud when they drove off the road and into the ocean in Moreton Bay, near Brisbane.
One of the tourists said “it told us we could drive down there”. “It kept saying it would navigate us to a road. We got stuck . . . there’s lots of mud.”
Into a River
I guess since 70% of the earth’s surface is water we shouldn’t be surprised there are so many examples of people driving their cars into rivers, lakes and the sea… or not.
In this instance, three women following their GPS drove their rented four wheel drive down the boat ramp and into the river in Mercer Slough Nature Park.
Perhaps we can forgive them a little as they were not familiar with the area and it was dark, close the midnight.
Eric Keenan from the local fire department sums it up… “I don’t know why they wouldn’t question driving into a puddle that doesn’t seem to end.”
There have been numerous reports of people turning into oncoming traffic at the request of their GPSs. In this case, a man from NSW was pulled over for driving the wrong way on the Hume highway in Victoria, Australia.
The man told police that he had simply followed his GPS’s instructions and that he wasn’t worried by the oncoming traffic because he thought he was on a dual carriageway.
Locals and tourists at Gibraltar Point in the UK saw an odd sight when a huge truck squeezed its way down the narrow road towards the sea. The Serbian driver had left Turkey bound for Gibraltar in the South of Spain but his GPS had other ideas, honing in on the similarly named location in the UK.
The truck driver may not have been familiar with the route but you would think he might have noticed something was off with the weather or the fact he had to drive onto a ferry to cross the English Channel!
Into the Harbour
This guy was obviously very confused, or stupid or both. Apparently he’d just driven off the Ferry in a small Alaskan town, done a quick lap of the shops then headed back past the ferry to wherever he was going when his all-knowing GPS told him to turn right into the harbour… so he did.
The man and his two pet dogs made it out thanks to quick thinking onlookers but, sadly, his cat did not.
There have been several reports of people following GPS directions onto the train tracks, getting stuck and then having their car struck (and destroyed) by the next train.
Paula Celly, a 20 yo student from the UK, narrowly escaped death when she drove her car onto a train line without realising it. She was in a country area and thought the two gates just looked like ‘ordinary farm gates.’ She opened the first one, drove onto the tracks, then went to open the other gate and that’s when she noticed the train lines. She apparently considered getting back in the car and driving off quickly but luckily she didn’t because the quickly approaching train smashed into her vehicle shortly after.
Celly had this nugget of wisdom for would be GPS users… “I’ll never use a sat nav again. You rely on them and if it all goes wrong, you’re horribly stuck. People should be more careful with them – you never know where they might lead you.”
Off a Cliff (nearly)
Our final story for this article is that of Robert Jones who found himself teetering on the edge of a 100 foot cliff, saved from falling only by a fence, after following his SatNav’s directions.
Jones said “It kept insisting the path was a road, even as it was getting narrower and steeper, so I just trusted it.”
You would think a professional driver might have more driving care but I guess that’s the power of the all authoritative GPS.
The GPS might be a great device, saving us time and energy in many situations, however, when you switch yours on, don’t switch off your brain.
If you’re one of the few people that still uses their mind to figure out how to get home, isn’t it about time you caught up with modern technology? Aside from the significant possibility of pedestrian injury, installing a GPS system in your car means that you could theoretically drive home with your eyes closed. And if you consider yourself more safety conscious than that you can still use your fancy new car gadget to help you find a short cut when your regular driving route is full of traffic. Before you get over excited however, and run out and buy one of these novel inventions, there are a few key important things to consider when purchasing one. I will now outline just what those important considerations are.
Of course, one of the most important things to consider when choosing a GPS system is the actual screen.
- When it comes to the size, don’t head out and blindly purchase the largest one that you can afford. GPS systems with large screens are not only much less portable, many of them are too large to safely be attached to a car windshield. You should therefore aim for the smallest screen that both your eyes and your fingers will allow.
- Many GPS systems include anti glare screens which are pretty much essential on sunny days. Some cheaper GPS systems frequently don’t include such screens and should therefore be avoided.
When it comes to maps, there are two things that you need to look for.
- First, you will obviously want a GPS system that includes maps of the areas that you frequently drive through. If you purchase a GPS system online, don’t automatically assume that maps of your area are included.
- Secondly, some GPS manufacturers sell add on maps. If you frequently take your car with you when you go on holiday, you don’t want to purchase a GPS system without this useful feature.
Another important factor to consider when purchasing a GPS system is how it will actually be attached to your car.
- If you want a GPS system that attaches to your windshield, make sure you choose one with a rigid arm. Many GPS systems employ gooseneck arms which lead to the GPS system bouncing at high speeds. As you can imagine, this makes it a lot more difficult to read.
- Another important thing to note about windshield GPS systems is that not all states allow them. It doesn’t matter how small the screen is, if you live in such a state, you will have to stick to the dashboard variety.
Spoken Street Names
In the past, GPS systems never included spoken street names but this has been changing recently and now more and more sound like actual human beings. If you would prefer not to hear things such as “turn left in 1.3 miles”, make sure that you purchase a GPS system capable of pronouncing street names. Not only is the alternative rather irritating, it can also make it very easy to make a wrong turn when there are multiple turns in close succession.
Street Name Prediction
Regardless of how intuitive the touch screen on a GPS system is, typing a full street name while driving is never going to be exactly convenient. Many GPS system manufacturers attempt to get around this problem through predictive entry. A GPS system with predictive entry generally only requires you to type in the first three letters of a street name before it predicts what you are trying to type. Predictive entry is not only convenient, it is also a great safety feature as you end up spending less time looking at the screen.
Real Time Traffic Updates
One feature that can greatly increase the usefulness of a GPS device is real time traffic updates. Such GPS systems can not only tell you which way to go but also recommend whatever route has the least traffic. If this feature appeals to you, it’s important to be aware that some GPS manufacturers expect you to pay a subscription fee to receive the traffic updates. You are better off choosing one of the many manufacturers that provide the updates for free by including onscreen advertisements instead.
Cool Extra Features
Finally, to appeal to those that love gadgetry, many GPS systems now come complete with an interesting selection of additional features.
- Many allow not only MP3 playback, but also video playback. You simply slot in an SD card with your files and press the play button.
- Bluetooth connectivity is also a very popular feature in GPS systems. You can then use the GPS systems screen, speaker and internal microphone to make and receive calls as you drive.
This guest post was written by Chris. He likes to write about car accessories, GPS and driving. He drives a used Ford and can’t go anywhere without a GPS system.
When it comes to finding your way around, nothing is more efficient than a GPS navigation system. These high-tech devices provide you with real-time directions, show you exactly where you are on a map and provide you with several routes to reach your destination. Many newer model vehicles come with navigation systems, but you can easily install one in your dash if your vehicle does not have one. When choosing a GPS navigation system, it is important to consider the features and price of systems before making a purchasing decision.
One disadvantage of using online map services for directions is that they do not provide any real-time information about traffic conditions. Although you may have the appropriate directions, you can experience serious delays if something is stalling traffic. To alleviate this issue, some GPS models offer alternate routes if the directions provided are in construction zones or if there is heavy traffic due to an accident. In most cases, the traffic information is pulled from FM airwaves. For an additional cost, some GPS devices come with even more advanced features such as weather reports, movie times and gas prices.
One thing to consider when selecting a GPS navigation system is the screen size of the device. Most standard models have a 3.5-inch screen, which can make it difficult to see the route details. A model with at least a 4.3-inch widescreen makes it much easier to see. Although this may not seem like a necessary feature, it makes a big difference.
Another feature to look for when choosing a GPS navigation device is whether it has a hands-free speaker phone. This feature eliminates the need to read the device while driving. It is important that the sound is easily heard, even in noisier environments. Having a speaker phone can help prevent unnecessary accidents because it allows you to remain focused on the road and not on working your GPS device.
You may want to consider a GPS device that has point-of-interest data. This feature pulls up common places near your destination, such as hotels, banks and restaurants. Make sure that the system updates the information on a regular basis.
An increasingly popular feature in GPS navigation devices is tracking devices. Individuals who are usually interested in tracking devices include parents with teenagers who drive and employers who have company-owned vehicles driven by employees.
Installation and Price
The installation requirements should be considered when choosing a device. The installation of some systems is more complex than others, especially for devices that display data on large monitors. Once you find devices that have the features you desire, eliminate the ones that are not in your budget. Although you often get what you pay for, there are plenty of well-made GPS navigation devices available to budget-conscious consumers.
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