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Apple Maps Flaw Sends Drivers Across Airport Runway

Unknown Lamer posted about 10 months ago | from the wrong-turn dept.

Idle 311

solareagle writes "The BBC reports that an Alaskan airport says it has had to place barricades across one of its taxiways after an Apple Maps flaw resulted in iPhone users driving across a runway. The airport said it had complained to the phone-maker through the local attorney general's office. 'We asked them to disable the map for Fairbanks until they could correct it, thinking it would be better to have nothing show up than to take the chance that one more person would do this,' Melissa Osborn, chief of operations at the airport, told the Alaska Dispatch newspaper. The airport said it had been told the problem would be fixed by Wednesday. However the BBC still experienced the issue when it tested the app, asking for directions to the site from a property to the east of the airport. By contrast the Google Maps app provided a different, longer route which takes drivers to the property's car park."

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311 comments

Credulousness (3, Insightful)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 10 months ago | (#44950327)

Now we see why big corporations retain batteries of lawyers to write voluminous "I Agree" waivers.

Re:Credulousness (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950405)

Apple doesn't allow batteries of lawyers to be changed.

calendar check. (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#44950637)

FTFS:

The airport said it had been told the problem would be fixed by Wednesday. However the BBC still experienced the issue when it tested the app,

umm, it's weds morning. give them to EOD sounds reasonable.

Re:calendar check. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950947)

In some parts of the world, "by Wednesday" means "before Wednesday". It's like the differences between "next/this/last weekend" in different regions of the US.

Re:calendar check. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950973)

Shut your mouth!

APPLE BASHING IS GOING ON!

Yeaaaaaaaaaah!

Re:calendar check. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 10 months ago | (#44951109)

FTFS:

The airport said it had been told the problem would be fixed by Wednesday. However the BBC still experienced the issue when it tested the app,

umm, it's weds morning. give them to EOD sounds reasonable.

Ummm, fixed "by" Wednesday means just that. If it's Wednesday, then it's supposed to be fixed. Fixed "on" Wednesday would give them until the EOD. By, in this context is synonymous with "before." So, if they said "It will be fixed before Wednesday," would you still say give them until the EOD?

Re:Credulousness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950459)

you still can't fix stupid

before apple maps, we had dummies driving into lakes because their garmin or whatever GPS they had told them to.

i can understand it if you are a sales person driving to new clients all the time, but why would most people need these map things? do you really forget where you need to go all the time?

Re:Credulousness (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 10 months ago | (#44950593)

People go to new places fairly regularly. Not everyone has every road and destination for a hundred miles around memorized. In this case it is an Airport, and quite a few people who are going to fly (or pick someone up, or just arrived) are not going to go to the place frequently enough to memorize the roads around it. I think I go to my local one maybe once every 5 years or so, plenty of time to not remember the roads around it.

Re:Credulousness (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 10 months ago | (#44951039)

People go to new places fairly regularly. Not everyone has every road and destination for a hundred miles around memorized. In this case it is an Airport, and quite a few people who are going to fly (or pick someone up, or just arrived) are not going to go to the place frequently enough to memorize the roads around it. I think I go to my local one maybe once every 5 years or so, plenty of time to not remember the roads around it.

You don't think the 737 sitting in front of you with engines roaring might tip you off that you are in the wrong place? Or maybe all of those "Do Not Enter" signs? Being confused at an airport and winding up at the wrong terminal or parking garage is one thing. Ending up on the runway is totally different.

Luckily, this story is just humorous and has a relatively happy ending. In many parts of the world, even attempting to get on to the runway or crossing barricades would get you shot.

Re:Credulousness (0)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 10 months ago | (#44950713)

you still can't fix stupid

That's true but irrelevant.
Are you talking about drivers or are you talking about Apple? That's why there are lawsuits, to determine how to portion the stupidity properly.

Re:Credulousness (2)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | about 10 months ago | (#44951091)

> That's why there are lawsuits, to determine how to portion the stupidity properly.

You say that like there was a shortage.

Re:Credulousness (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 months ago | (#44951097)

So I'm confused. If there's enough stupidity to go around, and all that is left is to decide how to portion it properly, why would it be irrelevant again? Your post makes it seem more appropriate, rather than less so.

Re:Credulousness (0)

logjon (1411219) | about 10 months ago | (#44951099)

I think in this case the stupid can be squarely placed with the people driving across a fucking runway. Would they follow Apple maps into the ocean?

Re:Credulousness (1)

HoldmyCauls (239328) | about 10 months ago | (#44951073)

For the last three years, I have been driving between multiple locations for my job. The next on my list is rarely the nearest, sometimes in a different city, nor is it even often the one I'd planned on visiting during the morning, or day before. As such, I have been struggling to find the quickest route between any two given locations. I still consult my GPS from time to time to make sure I'm not losing valuable time to actually *perform* my job once I arrive, simply by heading directly North when I should head West first. I know *where* all the locations are, but the roads to the next change depending on the starting point.

Steve jobs says: (4, Funny)

engun (1234934) | about 10 months ago | (#44950341)

Well, you did ask for the fastest route.

Re:Steve jobs says: (4, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 10 months ago | (#44950373)

They were driving it wrong.

Re:Steve jobs says: (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 10 months ago | (#44951053)

I was going to say something similar: You're runway is obviously in the wrong place.

Re:Steve jobs says: (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about 10 months ago | (#44950457)

First time I used Apple Maps it wanted to make me cross a river, there was no bridge. It gets my home postcode wrong by about 10 miles. Seems to not know about central reservations in many places as well, wants you to go through fencing. Sticking with Waze for now.

Re:Steve jobs says: (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about 10 months ago | (#44950737)

I love waze but, it has definitely gotten me a few times too.

Once, I was on my way to a friend's farm. I had heard there was another way to get there for "people who know the route", and assumed that Waze must have picked up on that and was taking me that way, so I followed it instead of taking my normal route.

We got off the highway, and it turned down a dirt road. I was ok with that, been down dirt roads before....then...the road ended. I looked down at Waze and saw the route swung to the left, so I looked over to the left and saw a 4 wheeler path, which was big enough for my car so I tried following it, only to find it came out to an empty overgrown field....at which point I turned back and went back to the road.

Another time, it took me off the highway I should have stayed on, and through some side streets back towards the road, ending in a right turn only where it wanted me to go left... and then proceeded to try to take me back down that circuit as I tried to find my way back.

Waze is wonderful for so many reasons (I have been known to pull it out and fire it up to report police sitting in front of my house) but, I doubt anybody has really gotten it 100% right when it comes to maps...just too much area to cover.

Re:Steve jobs says: (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#44950497)

Well, you did ask for the fastest route.

"As a temporary fix, please keep your Apple AirPort device turned off while driving."

Re:Steve jobs says: (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 10 months ago | (#44950517)

Also, what kind of moron actually drives through an airport just because their eyePhone tells them to? Perhaps instead of setting up barricades, they should have prevented that kind of move with caltrops and/or land mines to remove a dangerously stupid person from the gene pool.

Re:Steve jobs says: (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 months ago | (#44950611)

There are a couple of problems with your post.

First of all, it depends on how it looks from the drivers perspective. I have been to some airports where a wrong turn leads you between two building an dthen into the runway. There isn't a way to realize this when you are in the car.
I haven't been to this particulate airport but it is obvious the runways wasn't secure against outside traffic.

Secondly, you are too quick with the stupid comment. I know know geniuses(literally) that you wouldn't want behind the wheel.

Finally, you have no idea how the gene pool works.

Re:Steve jobs says: (1, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | about 10 months ago | (#44950625)

What kind of moron?
We are talking about Apple iPhone users here.
From TFA:
"Fairbanks Airport said the drivers involved in the 6 September and 20 September incidents had both been from out of town and had ignored signposts warning them that they should not be driving along the taxiway.
"They must have been persistent," the airport's assistant manager Angie Spear told the BBC.
"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."
The runway the motorists crossed was used by 737 jets among other aircraft. No one was injured.

Re:Steve jobs says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950655)

Also, what kind of moron actually drives through an airport just because their eyePhone tells them to?

If it just looks like a public road until you're on the runway, how would you know? If you're using your GPS it might be because it's somewhere you've never been.

Maybe the people who didn't bother to fence in the airport are the stupid people here.

Then again, you're so smug and self superior, maybe you should be removed from the gene pool for being such an asshole.

Re:Steve jobs says: (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 10 months ago | (#44950999)

And right above your post was this description of the road:

"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."
The runway the motorists crossed was used by 737 jets among other aircraft

Re:Steve jobs says: (2, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#44950707)

Also, what kind of moron actually drives through an airport just because their eyePhone tells them to?

The kind who thinks this sort of thing could never ever ever happen with an autonomous car.

Re:Steve jobs says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950785)

A self-driving car would sense the gate closed and stop, perhaps turn around, unlike most people on the road.

I'm sure we will be trading one evil for another, but compared to the drunk, stoned, tripping, tweaking, texting denizins on the road these days, I'll take an AI that actually watches and responds to all sensors constantly than someone who doesn't watch the road for 4-10 seconds.

The real question is (5, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | about 10 months ago | (#44950345)

How did the driver get it onto the airport taxiways? I live pretty close to an airport and the taxiways are all very barricaded, you can't just drive onto an airport without someone noticing.

Re:The real question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950401)

As I understand it, the Apple Maps app directed them onto a route that was not barricaded and allowed them access to the runway.

Re:The real question is (2)

dgatwood (11270) | about 10 months ago | (#44950475)

The obvious question, of course, is why such a route exists in the first place. If it's a road, people are allowed to drive on it. If people aren't allowed to drive on it, they should take reasonable steps to prevent people from... you know... driving on it.

Re:The real question is (2)

mspohr (589790) | about 10 months ago | (#44950745)

From TFA:
"Fairbanks Airport said the drivers involved in the 6 September and 20 September incidents had both been from out of town and had ignored signposts warning them that they should not be driving along the taxiway.
"They must have been persistent," the airport's assistant manager Angie Spear told the BBC.
"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."

Re:The real question is (3, Insightful)

DarkTempes (822722) | about 10 months ago | (#44950789)

Wait a second, so the TSA makes me take my shoes off and treats me like a criminal but people can just drive their car right up to the runway with nothing to stop them?

Re:The real question is (1)

iamgnat (1015755) | about 10 months ago | (#44950899)

Wait a second, so the TSA makes me take my shoes off and treats me like a criminal but people can just drive their car right up to the runway with nothing to stop them?

Well there are signs telling you not to go there. That will keep the terrorists out right? Right?

That's my view of this whole thing. OK Apple Maps is being stupid and the drivers even dumber, but I live at the end of the runway for an International airport and there are unhappy looking people with guns standing next to closed gates for any non-public access points to the grounds (which includes anything that leads to the runways). So WTF is going on up in Fairbanks?

Re:The real question is (2)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 10 months ago | (#44950951)

Maybe it's because airports aren't the massive insane over-the-top security risk the TSA would have you believe. It's just an airport. Calm the fuck down.

Re:The real question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950971)

Displaced polar bears ate the guards, probably.

Re:The real question is (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 10 months ago | (#44951043)

Shesh folks.. There are a number of unfenced airports out there. They generally don't carry commercial traffic and it would be easy to get a car on the runway. In fact, there is one not a mile from where I type that I could easily get onto the runway and not ever leave pavement or have to open a gate. Only single engine aircraft usually operate there and there is NO FENCE.

Even commercial airports I've seen have limited security at the general aviation ramp. You could drive up to your aircraft to unload/load baggage without so much as a gate between the highway and the ramp. These where not big airports, but they had regularly scheduled service. Once you are on the ramp, the whole airport is a car ride away.

So this is NOT that unusual. I suspect that in Alaska things are even looser. If you have ever seen "Flying Wild Alaska" you'd quickly realize that getting a car, snowmobile or walking onto an airstrip is extremely easy and usually doesn't even involve having to go around, through or over anything.

Re:The real question is (1)

internerdj (1319281) | about 10 months ago | (#44951103)

Who wants car duty when you can grope passengers?

Re:The real question is (2, Insightful)

PenguSven (988769) | about 10 months ago | (#44950485)

And it's Apple's fault that this route is open to drivers? Apple's data comes from third parties - a lot of it is aggregated by the likes of TomTom etc, from local authorities. Remember the bullshit about people getting lost in Victoria (australia) looking for a town called Mildura? The local mapping data had two locations for Mildura - one in the middle of a forrest, one where the town is. Any idiot that follows a navigation app's directions off a highway onto either a dirt track through a forrest or onto a fucking runway, deserves it. They are assistants, not foolproof deities.

Re:The real question is (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#44950727)

And it's Apple's fault that this route is open to drivers?

Apple's data comes from third parties - a lot of it is aggregated by the likes of TomTom etc, from local authorities.

Remember the bullshit about people getting lost in Victoria (australia) looking for a town called Mildura?

The local mapping data had two locations for Mildura - one in the middle of a forrest, one where the town is. Any idiot that follows a navigation app's directions off a highway onto either a dirt track through a forrest or onto a fucking runway, deserves it.

They are assistants, not foolproof deities.

Yea, rabble rabble! How dare people expect a company to QA their own products!

Re:The real question is (2)

PenguSven (988769) | about 10 months ago | (#44950791)

Take some fucking responsibility for your own actions. They had to go through a fucking gate, and past multiple signs saying they shouldn't be driving there. Yes Apple's maps have a bug, and they have said they are fixing it. What has the airport management done to prevent unauthorised access to the runway? What have the drivers done to improve their own common fucking sense?

Re:The real question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950989)

the issue is not that the drivers refuse to take responsibility.

the airport simply wishes that people would not be taking responsibility for driving across the runways.

Re:The real question is (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#44951135)

Take some fucking responsibility for your own actions.

Exactly what I'm saying, but about a different party, obviously.

Yes, the idiots ignoring good sense and driving onto a runway should take responsibility for their own idiocy.*

Just the same, Apple needs to take responsibility for releasing a broken product. Saying "oh, but we're fixing it" doesn't change the fact they released a broken product to begin with.

If you went and bought a Focus, and the wheel fell off because of an engineering "bug," wouldn't you hold Ford at least somewhat responsible?

Re:The real question is (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#44951143)

Forgot to address my own *:

If/when cars are autonomous, who takes responsibility when a "bug" causes cars to drive themselves into life-threatening situations?

Re:The real question is (1)

Xolotl (675282) | about 10 months ago | (#44950487)

I think the point is such a route should not exist for a major airport ...

Re:The real question is (1)

MiniMike (234881) | about 10 months ago | (#44950675)

Are there no signs along this route indicating that driving further is a bad idea? Are there no visual cues that they're not crossing a normal road? While Apple should take some of the blame for this, the primary blame has to go to idiot drivers. "Because my phone told me to" is not an excuse for doing stupid things.

Re:The real question is (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 10 months ago | (#44950433)

Same for me in a big city, but I have been to small podunk fields where they were exposed, with a treeline as the only protection.

Re:The real question is (4, Insightful)

Xolotl (675282) | about 10 months ago | (#44950473)

I agree with GP .. this is an international airport with 737 jet airliners. Yet the only thing stopping them was a "motion-activated gate". This is 2013 ... if nothing else, where was the TSA?

Re:The real question is (4, Funny)

orgelspieler (865795) | about 10 months ago | (#44950661)

where was the TSA?

They were too busy groping grandma, duh! Because if they don't, teh terrorists might win!!!

Re:The real question is (2)

Xolotl (675282) | about 10 months ago | (#44950749)

True dat. My bad.

Re:The real question is (5, Informative)

Pedahzur (125926) | about 10 months ago | (#44951121)

As someone living in Fairbanks, I can answer this. The part of the airport to which the Apple Maps directs the user is the general aviation side of the airport, thus it is pretty open to access, since there are businesses and personal airplanes on that side of the airport. More details here: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130924/iphone-map-app-directs-fairbanks-drivers-airport-taxiway [alaskadispatch.com]

Re:The real question is (2)

n5vb (587569) | about 10 months ago | (#44950567)

Alaska is different. People fly planes there like most of us down here in the lower 48 drive cars, because there are places in AK where there is literally no other way to get there. There are a lot of very small unsecured airports.

Re:The real question is (1)

Xolotl (675282) | about 10 months ago | (#44950659)

Yes but this isn't the grass strip in Chicken, this is the 737 runway at Fairbanks International ....

Re:The real question is (1)

Wookact (2804191) | about 10 months ago | (#44950761)

The "International" airport in Fairbanks is smaller then many regional airports I have been to. Sure they have a runway big enough for 737's but the place has like 4 gates. You can throw a rock from long term parking and hit the terminal building. I think they literally have one lane for TSA screenings.

(As of about 3 years ago. I admit things might have expanded some since then, but I doubt much.)

Re:The real question is (1)

Xolotl (675282) | about 10 months ago | (#44950853)

Well I can think of a number of airports I could throw a rock from long term parking and hit (a) terminal building - used to be the case at Heathrow, don't know if it still is - but I get your point :) Thanks.

Re:The real question is (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 10 months ago | (#44950455)

It's Alaska. I bet their idea of a sufficient barracade differs a bit from the norm.

Re:The real question is (1)

Imagix (695350) | about 10 months ago | (#44950463)

Lets see.. you want to get on a plane, you have to remove your shoes, get body scanned, wait in the long lines for those privileges.... or just drive onto the runway. Hmm... does anybody in the TSA see be huge glaring problem here?

Re: The real question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950587)

It's a small airport, long queues, no, but yes international direct to Europe in summer and only a small boom gate stopping anyone getting into the runway, odd

Re:The real question is (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 months ago | (#44950629)

Good luck driving onto the airplane.

Seriously, not the same thing.

Re:The real question is (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 10 months ago | (#44950477)

This is Fairbanks.

From TFA (1)

barlevg (2111272) | about 10 months ago | (#44950483)

barricades had since been erected to block access to the final stretch of the taxiway and that they would not be removed until Apple had updated its directions.

Not clear why they weren't there before.

Re:From TFA (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 10 months ago | (#44950799)

Not clear why they weren't there before.

Because the same barricades that would stop a car would also stop airplanes who are supposed to be there, and sometimes need to use taxiways to get on and off of the runway and to the gate and back. Do'h.

Re:From TFA (1)

PenguSven (988769) | about 10 months ago | (#44950809)

Or why they would be removed after a GPS app is updated?

Re:The real question is (1)

rnturn (11092) | about 10 months ago | (#44950583)

Oh, yeah, they'll notice but how soon?

I had a good friend and his brother wind up on a runway -- not in active use that day but still... -- at O'Hare back in the '70s. It didn't take very long before a cluster of airport vehicles with flashing lights stopped them before they got into real trouble. It turns out that there was an entrance to the airfield that was easily accessible via one of the roads that circled the airport. They were going to apply for a Summer job and didn't know where the heck they were supposed to be going. I used to drive by that entrance to/from work and the gate was almost always open; anyone could have driven onto an active runway. Pretty stupid but then those were different times. Back then a lot of dads would take their kids and park right outside the fence to watch the airliners take off and land. (I did that with my dad; we did it outside Glenview NAS to watch the military jets as well.) Nowadays that'll get you a visit from airport security (or worse) who'll tell you to shove off or else.

Re:The real question is (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 10 months ago | (#44951015)

My dad used to take us to the end of the runway at Vancouver International. The planes would be very low and very loud going directly overhead. I thought it was awesome. I wonder how close you can get nowadays?

Re:The real question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950599)

RTFA, look at the pictures, and you'll see how.

Now here's "why": Note that for many parts of Alaska, air travel is the only efficient means of transportation, so they need easy access to the airport for deliveries of all kinds of stuff. That's why it's easy to get there.

Re:The real question is (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 10 months ago | (#44951137)

Small-craft amateur pilots are common in Alaska (being so large and mostly empty). From what I can tell, the area had road access so pilots who keep their aircraft in hangars there can drive in, park their car, and just get in their plane. That little area obviously has access to the airstrip so the planes can take off.

What happened is basically someone skipping the "get out of car and into plane" part.

I have been to similar small airports, and they don't always have a significant barrier between the "car parking section" and the "aircraft hangar section". In this case it seems there is none (again, makes sense - who wants to walk far between them in Alaskan weather?).

Alaska's fault (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950439)

They are using their roads incorrectly. Next time they should consult Apple before undertaking such projects so that the routes can be preapproved.

Re:Alaska's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950541)

They can't afford them. iRoads require electric iCars, which can only be charged at approved, official iCharging Stations available outside of Apple Stores. The Apple Store in Anchorage is a good ways away from the airport, though (as are almost any two randomly chosen addresses in Alaska), so maybe the iCars would run out of battery before they made it to the runway? Hey, it's a feature!

Re:Alaska's fault (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 10 months ago | (#44950775)

Alaska can afford them - just get their legislators to attach a $100M Alaskan iRoad improvement project to a bill declaring Jun 23rd National Take Your Pot Bellied Pig To Work Day. Alaskan pork barrel politics as usual...

George Carlin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950489)

Great. So now, let me get this straight:

You park in a driveway.

You drive on a parkway.

You also drive on a runway.

You run on a track....

It doesn't quite fit the theme, but I wouldn't be surprised if Apple's next prediction of users' desired actions leads SUVs to go barreling down running tracks at high schools, mowing down triathletes and future Olympians with reckless abandon. The driver's explanation in court: "I was too busy trying to get out of this stupid app and make Siri shut up".

Airport security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950493)

Shouldn't the airport be blocked against people that take their cars to the runway?

It's a feature, not a bug (5, Funny)

DieByWire (744043) | about 10 months ago | (#44950569)

Cool. Apple is now providing taxiing directions for pilots!

Re:It's a feature, not a bug (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 10 months ago | (#44950671)

Of course, that was announced two years ago [slashdot.org] .

Re:It's a feature, not a bug (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 10 months ago | (#44950955)

Cool. Apple is now providing taxiing directions for pilots!

Well, there was that story about pilots with iPads in the cockpit, so that would be a natural extension.

Stupid People (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950573)

It's called natural selection. If you are stupid enough to drive across a runway because your phone told you to, I say let them go ahead.

Re:Stupid People (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 10 months ago | (#44950867)

The only problem is that stupid people might also take out the smart people on the plane.

Re:Stupid People (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 10 months ago | (#44950959)

It's called natural selection. If you are stupid enough to drive across a runway because your phone told you to, I say let them go ahead.

Very insightful... er, no, because you forgot the possibility that it could end badly for the pilot and passengers on any plane it collides with.

Google Maps Flaw... (2)

sandysnowbeard (1297619) | about 10 months ago | (#44950585)

"Google Maps Flaw Sends Drivers Across Pacific Ocean" -- article circa 2009

Re:Google Maps Flaw... (1)

rainwater (530678) | about 10 months ago | (#44950825)

To be fair, it probably didn't take working with the attorney general and putting this story out in the press to get Google to fix it. That is the difference.

Re:Google Maps Flaw... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951113)

To be fair, you don't really know. You're speculating.

Any chance to bash Apple and point out how great Google is must be taken!

Google Maps (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950605)

With Google Maps you would of ended up at another airport or a mile away!!

Bureaucracy (2)

guytoronto (956941) | about 10 months ago | (#44950695)

"The airport said it had complained to the phone-maker through the local attorney general's office."
The airport couldn't contact Apple directly? Instead they need to involve other levels of bureaucracy and red tape?

Re:Bureaucracy (1, Insightful)

magsol (1406749) | about 10 months ago | (#44950829)

Have you tried to get technical assistance from Apple without visiting their Genius Bars? It's like they don't want you to speak directly with a human being. Though I have to admit, the thought of airport officials walking into the Genius Bar of an Apple Store is more than a little amusing.

Driving across runway? What's wrong with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950715)

Picky Alaskans.

Crossing a runway is fine if you're driving from Spain to Gibraltar.

http://izismile.com/2009/01/23/gibraltar_airport_runway_crosses_the_road_to_spain_12_pics.html

The funny thing is (0)

adolf (21054) | about 10 months ago | (#44950779)

From the headline alone, before I even read the first sentence, I knew this had to be about England.

Only in England, it seems, do stories about people actually driving down cowpaths, fording rivers, and (apparently) crossing runways "because the GPS said so" originate.

(That said, I know of one airport [bing.com] in the US where the end of the runway intersects with the main road. There are signs in each direction advising drivers to yield to aircraft.)

Re:The funny thing is (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | about 10 months ago | (#44950889)

Umm...this is in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA.

Re:The funny thing is (1)

adolf (21054) | about 10 months ago | (#44950975)

Umm...this is in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA.

Stop trying to confuse the issue with your facts. I already said I KNOW this story is from England and I didn't even read the first sentence!

What do you expect from me? That I'd actually read TFS?

You must be new here.

Re:The funny thing is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950977)

If you'd actually read the first sentence past "BBC", you'd know that the story is not about England, but about the United States; specifically, Fairbanks Alaska.

Uh, you do know that Alaska is part of the United States, right?

Not a Maps flaw (2)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 10 months ago | (#44950841)

It's a user flaw.

I never understood how someone could just blindly follow GPS directions and enter what is most likely very well marked security area, or even just use common sense and NOT drive onto a runway. Also mind boggling is the idea of driving into a river or lake.

Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950857)

But my phone told me to do it officer!

NOTAM (1)

tylersoze (789256) | about 10 months ago | (#44950869)

Supposedly the FAA issued a NOTAM (Notice To AirMen) about this, but I haven't been able to find it. I wonder what it said, something like "watch for dumbasses crossing the runway"?

Re:NOTAM (2)

Xolotl (675282) | about 10 months ago | (#44951093)

It's fairly boring. Here is the NOTAM:

FAI FAIRBANKS INTL

!FAI 09/092 FAI TWY FLOAT POND RD AT TWY B CLSD LGTD AND BARRICADED TIL 1309302355

You can find it at Pilotweb [faa.gov] , unfortunately I can't immediately see how to post a direct URL. You can see it matches the details in this article [alaskadispatch.com] .

Weenies (1)

linear a (584575) | about 10 months ago | (#44950871)

99% of the time it's perfectly safe.

Issue has existed as long as Apple Maps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950877)

During the beta period which introduced Apple Maps, the same flaw existed for the Pittsburgh International Airport. Apple Maps would try to direct you to drive out onto the runway. It took months for Apple to get around to fixing the problem for PIA.

cause this never happened to google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44950881)

http://www.cio.com/article/686778/6_Memorable_Google_Maps_Mishaps?page=1#slideshow

Maybe the driver should lose their license. (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 10 months ago | (#44950927)

Maybe the drivers in these cases should lose their license. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense, so saying that my iPhone told me to drive across a runway should make no difference. If somebody is stupid enough to do that, they are too stupid to be allowed to drive. Maybe Apple should re-think their "Think Different" campaign and just tell people to "Think!"

Its starting. (1)

dantotheman (2887483) | about 10 months ago | (#44950993)

Is this the first sign of the technological singularity [wikipedia.org] ? What better way to start picking off the puny human race than to lead them into dangerous situations....

I for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

A man using Apple Maps walks into a bar (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 10 months ago | (#44950997)

or a hotel, or possibly a church...

Jumped the shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951057)

I always thought the episode of The Office where Michael blindly follows his GPS into a pond was where the series jumped the shark. Now it appears that some people really are that stupid and perhaps it was a commentary on average intelligence rather than a cheap ploy for a laugh.

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