A couple followed the Waze GPS app to the wrong address in a slum near Rio de Janiero, Brazil, where the wife died in a hail of gunfire, police say.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: edition.cnn.com
This is a very sad story and one that in my humble opinion unfairly targets Google’s Waze. If Waze is correct and the couple in fact entered an address that was in a dangerous area, even if that wasn’t the address they thought they were going to, that doesn’t put Google’s GPS navigation and crowd sourced traffic information app at fault.
Personal danger from criminals has never been a criteria for car navigation.
There are exceptions in some systems to avoid toll roads and dirt roads. You can choose fastest vs shortest, but danger has never been a criteria and in my mind it can’t for lots of reasons:
-Danger is relevant. On my first trip to Manhattan around 1990, the hotel have me a printed map and shaded a number of areas off, telling me not to go near them after dark. That is no longer the case, so how do you update that. How do you categorize crime? A large percentage of crimes are domestic. Burglaries frequently happen in expensive affluent areas.
-There are real time online crime maps of cities, showing activity in and around certain neighborhoods in the USA, UK and Europe for which you will find links in my book about buying Real Estate. http://amzn.to/1jbAJB7
-Imagine what would happen to real estate values if car navigation manufacturers arbitrarily started saying certain areas are dangerous. When are they dangerous? I suspect the law suits would start very quickly.
-Many tourist attractions are dangerous. Would you say Amsterdam city is dangerous, or London? Most major cities in Europe have active bands of pick pockets. I saw warning signs on buildings in many parts of Europe this year.
Navigation is about providing accurate driving directions according to the parameters you set when you use your navigation application. I can’t imagine in this instance that you would get a different outcome irrespective of what GPS Nav brand, app or device you used.
It is a tragic outcome, but once again I have to repeat, don’t blame the nav. In a city known for danger, it is up to the city to make people aware of where they have the most likelihood of being safe, or the least risk and then up to tourists and travelers to take head of that advice.
There are countless cases of people allegedly being told to drive down steps into canals, into the sea and lakes, through narrow and difficult mountain passes, despite signs saying they are closed in winter because of danger (An Avis rental car in New Zealand where the defaults were set at ‘avoid main roads and use the shortest route’) and trucks in the UK finding themselves on a road where the houses were so close together that the truck couldn’t get through, but the truck driver tried anyway and got wedged between the historic buildings.
Common sense isn’t always very common and often people don’t read the set up or usage instructions on their device before they start using them. Computers are very simple and in pretty much all the incident cases I’ve read, the nav did exactly what it was told.
As your Mum used to say, well mine did, “If I told you to jump in the river with your clothes on, would you do it?”