GPSs

A few years back, I was driving by myself to Toronto from Grand Rapids. I’d put the address into my new GPS mainly for the ETA than because of needing directions.

The first 50-60 miles were pretty uneventful but after I got to Lansing, the GPS went mad. It started telling me to go south when I should be going east.

Since I was driving, I couldn’t do much about it. I kept going on the real route and planned on figuring out what was wrong with the GPS when I got to a stop.

This meant that whenever I got to an exit, I’d be notified that I should get off the freeway and go somewhere else. I’d hear “Go someplace stupid. Go someplace stupid. Recalculating. Go someplace stupid” over and over and over.

When I got to a stop, I tried to figure out what was going on. The route to Toronto from Grand Rapids that the GPS had picked was south to Indiana, then east through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, past the far side of Lake Ontario, and then back to Toronto. This seemed odd considering that the real route was almost a straight line due east.

I reviewed the navigation options for the GPS and found a selection for avoiding toll roads and bridges. I turned that off and the GPS changed the route back to a beeline for Toronto.

Apparently, the GPS was trying to help me avoid a $3.00 toll for the bridge to Canada by sending me 600 miles and 10 hours out of my way.

I was reminded of all this when I read about the murder car which mentioned a GPS that would constantly tell you to drive somewhere else. I’d probably choose the murder car.

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