When GPS Confuses, You May Be to Blame (Randall Stross)

Matthew Kruk mkrukg at gmail.com
Sun Sep 2 00:20:45 PDT 2012

Randall Stross, *The New York Times*, 1 Sep 2012 [PGN-ed]

The turn-by-turn instructions of GPS-based navigation systems, ingeniously
designed though they may be, can't always save us from ourselves.  Consider
the experience of a man from San Diego who flew to the East Coast and picked
up a GPS-equipped rental car at the airport. After 20 minutes, he sensed he
was headed in the wrong direction. Then he realized that he had unthinkingly
entered his California address as his destination.  "The navigation system
had dutifully set a route back to his home in San Diego, 3,000 miles away,"
said Barry Brown, co-director of the Mobile Life Center, based in Stockholm,
which does research on mobile communication. The incident happened to a
friend of his.  Mr. Brown is co-author of a recent paper titled "The Normal
Natural Troubles of Driving With GPS." The paper illuminates a drawback of
GPS technology: that it is designed for docile drivers whose navigational
skills have atrophied. ...

Randall Stross <stross at nytimes.com> is an author based in Silicon Valley and
a professor of business at San Jose State University.


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