Is my Google trying to kill me?

  • [image by Google user Doug Bradley]

    [image by Google user Doug Bradley]

A dumb feature of smart phone navigation apps endangered scores of people last Sunday. Motorists using Waze and Google Maps tried to avoid an 8-hour traffic back-up over the icy Grapevine on February 10.

Interstate 5 was closed by 7 p.m. across the summit because of hazardous ice and snow, but that hazard could have been made lethal by apps that routed unsuspecting drivers onto treacherous, unplowed Hudson Ranch Road (west of Pine Mountain Club) in temperatures that…(please see below to view full stories and photographs)

Photo captions:

Above and left: PMC resident Doug Bradley texted a bit of dark humor with a screenshot of a dangerous detour offered by Google Maps Sunday, as unplowed back roads to the south became icy and treacherous.

“It’s a big joke until somebody dies,” Bradley said in an interview.

“They’re putting people out there in 18-degree weather with no cell coverage. You’re stuck. If it doesn’t get fixed it will result in people dying [in an accident]. But what worries me more is the person who’s going to be stranded out there for 8 hours and freeze to death.”

Above: Sawrey children Nigel and Victoria on each side of their mom, Elaine Salmon (in red), with the family’s new long-lasting friends and the gift of calligraphy from China their guests gave to show their gratitude. A translated passage reads: ‘A real man of culture should have…kindness for the sake of others.’

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This is part of the February 15, 2019 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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