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Polish driver follows GPS directions into lake

1 hr 20 mins ago
WARSAW (AFP) – A Polish driver who was too sure of his GPS road navigation device ended up neck-deep in a lake after ignoring road signs warning of a dead-end ahead, Polish police said Friday.
"The man took a road that was closed a year ago when the area was flooded to make an artificial lake serving as a water reservoir -- he ignored three road signs warning of a dead-end," Piotr Smolen, police spokesman in Glubczyce, southern Poland, told AFP Friday.
"It was still night time and he didn't notice the road led into the lake. His GPS told him to drive straight ahead and he did," Smolen said, adding the driver had not been under the influence of alcohol.
The road ran straight downhill into the lake. The Mercedes mini-van was nearly entirely submerged and was unable to back out on its own after being inundated with water.
The driver and two passengers escaped unharmed from the submerged vehicle and waited on its roof for police and fire rescue crews.
The driver placed the first call to emergency services while still inside the sinking van.
 

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:shock:Recent major news sources indicate that he isn't the only one...it seems that here in the USA, one guy nearly went over a cliff, and another smashed thru a private gate, both after dark. In both cases, they apparently believed their GPS devices to excessive degrees of trust...

Something tells me that these GPS thingies will continue to provide news fodder for as long as we humans continue to depend on them...similar to cell phone texting...:cheeky1:
 

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That's why I'd always carry a real paper map (current) with a good flashlight with me at all times.

Daveo
 

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Well I am one of the worst at getting lost. I like my GPS though, it always gets me there, with a detour or two.

I really cannot comprehend someone riding off a cliff, I suppose it happens, just hard for me to understand that one.

Mine is always messing up, especially when roads have been changed or redesigned, especially interstate loops. It will tell you all kinds of nonsense. I just go on and make a turn, it will recover shortly and put me back on the right track.

I do think in the Honda GPS the avoid highways feature should be totally eliminated, that is the one that will run you down the dead end roads and up a 20 year old gravel road that has a traffic barrier in the middle of it halfway up a mountain.

Do people really do put that much trust in a machine........hum??? Maybe it was just on and they went to sleep??

Kit
 

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:)I dont have a GPS,,, but if your in no rush,and enjoying the ride,, getting lost is half the fun:)you never no what your going to come across,,,,,saying that,, the voice from the back, asked me last week if we,d come the long way round ,and did i know where we were:cheeky1:
 

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Kit Carson wrote:
Do people really do put that much trust in a machine........hum??? Maybe it was just on and they went to sleep??
People have basically become gerbils Kit. I'm sure this fool was thinking "Hey, I have GPS, I'll never be lost again" with no clear concept of how GPS technology really works...And little to no common sense.

Mike
 

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Kit Carson wrote:
Do people really do put that much trust in a machine........hum??? Maybe it was just on and they went to sleep??
Well, there used to be a lake here in Wisconsin last year, with a decent county road that went right over the dam.(Lake Delevan? I think?)Heavy rains allowed the dam to give way, taking the road (and several expensive homes) with it, and leaving an empty lake-bed. :shock:

There is no way for those GPS Map functions to know this...so I should expect that at least some tourists might have been directed into that hole in the Earth, had not the place been immediately barricaded. Doo-Doo just happens, sothey say... :gunhead::cooldevil:
 

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Lake Delton
 

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MDKramer wrote:
Kit Carson wrote:
Do people really do put that much trust in a machine........hum??? Maybe it was just on and they went to sleep??
People have basically become gerbils Kit. I'm sure this fool was thinking "Hey, I have GPS, I'll never be lost again" with no clear concept of how GPS technology really works...And little to no common sense.

Mike
I hate to break it to you but common sense ain't near as common as it used to be.
 

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GPS and maps are good but you gotta use pilotage, ie, look through the windshield once in awhile.:cooldevil:
 

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It's similar to overconfidence in anti-lock brakes, vehicle stability assist, backup sensors and 4 wheel drive etc. you still got to use your head.
 

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I use my GPS very extensively and I am pretty good with it.

But I don't have my instruments only endorsement on my license yet.... :D I still need good visibility.

I've had many conversations with others over the years about GPS and the most common thing I tell people is that it is only a tool. If you use any tool, in order to use it effectively,you have to know how it works. You have to know what it can do for you and what it's limitations are.

People have a tendancy to believe the hype about GPS that it is so accurate, yes GPS technology can be accurate to within 10 feet, but that is only part of the story.

The accuracy isn't always that good, based on the signals it is receiving. Andit is only as accurate as the map that it is using. When you look at a paper map, if a location is a few hundred feet off in relation to other points on the map, most peoplel would never notice, as you are looking for landmarks, intersections, etc and the paper map gives you that. everything is relative and it works because you are comparing positions to eachother.

But when you take that map and place a LAT/LON grid over it and then try to compare the positions on the map to the actual LAT and LON to the accuracy that GPS is capable of, you will discover lots of errors. I have plenty of experiences where my GPS showed me on the wrong road. It was trying to place me on the closest road to the true position, but the map was not accurate enough. There are lots of places like that. Over the past few years the maps have improved, they needed to, but still not perfect.

Then you have the issue that the roads actually change, new construction, sometimes the roads are actually relocatedsomewhat, sometimes roads are closed and don't exist any more,routes are changed. Maps have to be updated, but if you are using an old map, or an old map software on your GPS there will be errors that way.

I have 4 different versions of MapSource maps for my GPS.There are lot's of changes from one to the next. The main roads are all the same, butwhen you travel a lot, you see changes. My most recent is about 2 years out of date and I am starting to see changes occasionally.

GPS is only a tool, and it needs to be understood in order to be used well. I've used a pair of pliars in place of a wrench and rounded off many good nuts doing so. Use a tool wrong and you don't get good results. The same is true for a GPS.
 

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Well I have a good one for you. I have been running to Charleston to the College for the last three years. I am aware of the roads that have been changed and all that kind of thing. Saturday coming back I turned it on at a rest stop and it would tell me to take an interstate exit, then go straight back down the other ramp and back unto the interstate. It did this twice.

I can only assume it is human error in the programming of the maps stored in the unit.

We turned it off and ignored it, that thing really acts up sometimes.

Kit
 

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Heres's a funny fgor you.

The first time I flew into Newark International Airport and had to drive a rental car over the Wayne/Montville area for my work.
I took my new GPS ands entered the address I wanted to go to and set it on my dash. I drove out of the car rental place at the Airport and followed the turns I was getting from the GPS. I kept seeing all the interstate type roads but never got on one. After a while of following the voiced turns I happend to really take a look at my surroundings and it dawned on me that I needed to get the hell out of that neighborhood.
Damn GPS had me taking the scenic route through downtown Newark which is not a very safe place for a anyone...
 

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RonSena wrote:
Heres's a funny fgor you.

The first time I flew into Newark International Airport and had to drive a rental car over the Wayne/Montville area for my work.
I took my new GPS ands entered the address I wanted to go to and set it on my dash. I drove out of the car rental place at the Airport and followed the turns I was getting from the GPS. I kept seeing all the interstate type roads but never got on one. After a while of following the voiced turns I happend to really take a look at my surroundings and it dawned on me that I needed to get the hell out of that neighborhood.
Damn GPS had me taking the scenic route through downtown Newark which is not a very safe place for a anyone...
That is not funny, it is what I call a revolting development. :D I had my zumo 550 do that one to me once in Atlanta. I thought I was never going to get out of that town. I never have a clue as to where I am at, I was sure hoping that the bike did not die. It had a brain fart or something and I had turned it off at a stop and when it came back up instead of resuming normal operation it was in avoid main roads mode. It sure did avoid them. :cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1:

Kit
 

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Two common problems I've seen in regard to GPS are road changes that the mapping hasn't caught up with and people usint the "shortest distance" option. When I got my first GPS I foolishly asked it to route me on a trip to pick up my first Goldwing from a seller on eBay. It got me there but steered me down backwoods roads and darn near through cow pastures. I won't use that function again unless I'm running out of gas or just want to enjoy backroads. The best bet when trying to go somewhere withoutgoing on the scenic tour is to use the "fastest route" function. No GPS I've heard of can keep you out of gang territory or bad neighborhoods.
 

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Paul, I occasionally use the Short Distance function when I want to change up the scenery....and that is what that function is really good for.

Last August I was driving home from Fort Wayne, IN back to Mesa, AZ and wanted to see some different country. I've made that trip on the interstates too many times and it is just as old now, as it was the 2nd time I made the trip. Set it up for Shortest Distance and Avoid Toll Roads. Fantastic trip, my family really enjoyed that trip.

Well, fast forward to last month and I wanted to go over to where I had bought something off of craigslist that was in a "new area" of the county, but still familiar to me. I just didn't know about all of the new little cut through roads that have been made in the new residential areas.

Well, not thinking, I just inserted the new address (never ever heard of that street name) and started off. About half way there, I had run out of familiar roads and start paying attention to the voice prompts.

Pretty soon, I was thoroughly confused as to where this place might be. I had been routed through so many little twisty cul-de-sacs, short trips on little streets that were only 1 block long, lefts, rights, and U-turns leading to another right. Confusing.

It got me there, and with the least possible distance traveled :waving: , but when I got ready to leave that guys's house, I programmed it for "Fastest Time".

Amazing:waving:, there were only 2 short little jogs from that guy's house to the major cross roads that I have known and traveled for years. :baffled:

I swear the people who write the algorithms for those things have not used them to travel cross country. There is common sense :baffled:, and then there is horse sense. I think the latter is the better of the two some times. :cooldevil:

They have them set up to take you a half mile farther, or around the full square mile, just so that they set you up for right turns only. :stumped:

I use mine for a tool, Get me close to where I'm going and then use the old time mapping equipment, my noggin, to find the place.
 

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You can get interesting results from using the 'shortest distance' function. On one road trip my brother and I were riding East on Hwy50 across Nevada and the GPS called for a left turn half a mile ahead. When we got to the "intersection" there was a two wheel dirt track heading out across the desert. It may well be that it was a short cut on the route we were on but not one I'd take with a Goldwing. Need a dirt bike with extra water and gas for that one.
 

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Bar none, all mapping software runs 2 years behind in updating roads due to new construction. Road closings are another matter.
 
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