When GPS goes wrong…

As reported in multiple news sources over the world (but I stole it from the Herald Sun):

UK couple cause $37,000 worth of damage to church after following GPS directions

AN elderly British couple is recovering today after a faulty GPS system led them to crash into a 19th-century German church, causing $37,000 worth of damage.

The couple, who cannot be named under German data protection laws, were traveling Friday from Austria to France guided by their GPS system.

The 76-year-old husband, who was driving, followed instructions to “turn right” but ended up hitting the chapel near Freundpolz, Bavaria.

I know the technology told him to turn right, but didn’t he see there was no road there? Maybe he thought that ruddy big church-like building was a hologram? I’m not sure how they taught people to drive in his day and age but they certainly taught me to look where I was going.

The man and his 78-year-old wife were taken to the hospital suffering from shock and bruises, before returning by train to Britain.

“They were confused and didn’t notice that the navigational system was faulty,” a police spokeswoman said.

“What happened to them is a salutary lesson about the limits of navigation systems – don’t always believe what you hear, but keep your eyes open.”

So he was driving with his eyes closed!?!

Karl-Heinz Krueger, a passing motorist, told a local radio station: “The old man was more confused than the woman. He kept saying, It’s the machine – it told me to turn this way, but I suddenly ran out of road.”

I’m glad they were okay, it would have been a tragedy if he had been driving along a mountain road and didn’t see the cliff edge. It does remind me of the urban legend where the Winnebago driver turned on ‘cruise control’ and went into the back to make a cup of tea, crashing the vehicle and then successfully suing the maker. Though I much prefer the variation on this I heard recently where a young couple were feeling amorous so then turned on ‘autopilot’ and went into the back…

The lesson here for geocachers is always trust the GPS but watch where you are going!

1 comment

  1. SaltercreaseRangers

    My elderly father never took a test in the UK – he went to the Post Office and paid for his license like everyone else at the time 😉 I’m so glad he decided to stop driving before they would have taken it away from him

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