Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Living in Fear of GPS: Sat-nav nightmares

As a species we like to think that technology holds the answer, that technology offers advantages. But does technology offer more advantages than drawbacks? I have always argued that technology itself is neutral. Whether or not the net effect of its development is positive depends upon its users, we humans.

Case in point: GPS. On a recent trip to Britain I found a phenomenon that illustrates my point rather well: sat-nav blight. This is the appearance of an increasing number of large vehicles in small towns due to lorry [truck] drivers using GPS devices that direct them on shortcuts which may, or may not, be appropriate. Here are some examples:

Sat nav leaves cheese truck stuck.
First 'ignore your sat nav' roadsigns go up.
Traffic analysis of heavy lorries on the B1078.
Sat-nav drivers land in deep water again.
End to sat-nav blight.

Sat-nav stories.

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