Millions of people trust Google Maps route planning and use it almost on a daily basis – even for well-known routes that they could actually travel without navigation.
One reason for this is, are the extensive functions of Google Maps and, in some regions, it warns against bad taxi drivers. Additionally, Google can also display live traffic alerts, including the calculation of alternative routes. This has now left dozens of cars stuck in a muddy country lane in the US.
Without navigation many people not want to use their car. In most new vehicles the navigation functions are already integrated – often, it’s Google Maps. As it’s so easy-to-use and people are comfortable using it, they enter their destination even if they know the way. So they can drive around traffic jams, be warned about new construction sites and calculate much more. Of course, you should not trust it blindly.
A strange event occurred in the US a few days ago, in which Google Maps is not entirely innocent: In the state of Colorado, a traffic accident happened on a road to Denver Airport, causing a very long traffic jam. Of course, Google’s algorithms quickly recognized the situation and planned an alternative route, which was suggested to all drivers with active navigation. A function that recommends drivers alternative ways and also contributes to the break up of traffic jams.
But in this case, the route planning had led drivers through a dirt road. Although open to traffic, it was very muddy due to heavy rains and therefore difficult to drive. However, this did not prevent some drivers from taking the route and trying their luck, as the detour took only 23 minutes, whereas the direct route through the traffic jam would have taken 43 minutes. And on the way to the airport, you are always in a hurry.
However, the drivers underestimated themselves and their vehicles and immediately the first ones got stuck in the mud and could not move forwards or backwards. This formed a second traffic jam on the alternative route, from which there was no return for many vehicles. In total, nearly 100 vehicles have been involved in this mudbath.
Many drivers had previously doubted to take this route, but the fact that it was proposed by Google Maps and many other vehicles also suddenly turned in that direction quickly dispelled these doubts. Ultimately, car drivers blame herd mentality and Google Maps. Unfortunately, drivers forgot that they are responsible for their decisions. Many know the well-known cases in which cars crash into the river or drive into the subway shaft because it has been suggested by the navigation system.
Google has now spoken on this matter and also points to the responsibility of the drivers. At the same time, it becomes clear that many factors are used for route planning – but the weather does not appear to be.