"Death by GPS" – Click above to watch video after the jump

Recently, we learned that sixth-generation Chevrolet Corvettes are out to get us, and now it seems that our beloved GPS has turned on us. Consumer Reports calls it "Death by GPS", and it's a term that refers to folks who wind up in dangerous or fatal situations because they blindly follow the directions provided by their electronic navigational aid.

A Canadian couple was recently in the news when their GPS led them astray and into a remote part of Northern Nevada. The husband set out for help while the wife remained with their vehicle for seven weeks until being discovered (still alive) by a group of hunters.

We live in an age where we rely quite heavily on the technology around us. It's no surprise then that we put blind faith in our personal devices, yet we should take a step back to see them for what they really are. The GPS is a tool to aid with navigation, yet it's not an infallible machine. Data (and a clear line of sight to orbiting satellites) is a major requirement for a navigation unit to function at its best. More remote areas have less data because of the infrequent amount of traffic they receive, thus a navigation unit would have less information with which to provide feedback.

If you're behind the wheel of a vehicle, and you're heading into unfamiliar territory, it's a good idea to remember that your navigation system is part of a team. Your brain should also be part of that team. Click past the jump to watch a CBS News clip discussing the "Death by GPS" phenomenon.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 39 Comments
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      More like "Death by Darwin"
        rllama
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        It only counts as Darwinism/natural selection if they die before they have a chance to reproduce. The Canadian couple were in their late 50s. But really, the human race has been defying Darwinism more and more - we just keep getting more and more people less and less well adapted for our world.
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm sorry about their misfortune, but if you're headed for Las Vegas and your GPS says you should get off of the paved roads, you should stop and say, "Wait a minute!"
      Dan R
      • 3 Years Ago
      Death by being a dumbass, more like.
      Guerro
      • 3 Years Ago
      Death by GPS??? The GPS unit did not kill them. It was their own stupidity that did them in. Darwin award winners.
      brian
      • 3 Years Ago
      Stupid people believing that their GPS and Sky-god will look after them - No need to look at roadsigns or use common sense anymore...
      Rudukai13
      • 3 Years Ago
      You know, before the days of stuffing twelve airbags into cars, requiring helmets and elbow pads for riding swings, and the FCC, society had a term for these kinds of scenarios...If I remember correctly, it was something like..."Natural selection". Yeah, that's the one.
      J W
      • 3 Years Ago
      It should be "death by Darwin." The GPS isn't a thinking devise out to get us.
      Jim
      • 3 Years Ago
      My GPS "Sharon" is dain bramaged. She tells me to take a right leaving my subdivision and then immediately U-turn instead of just turning left.
        dukeisduke
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim
        Isn't that called a "Michigan left turn"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_left_turn
        Hazdaz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim
        I named mine "Janet"
      jonnybimmer
      • 3 Years Ago
      Waiting for when people start lining up the lawsuits because some pre-programmed device that's supposed to assist them was wrong and misled them. Bad situation, but an obviously preventable one. The value of common sense rises everyday.
      poopoohead100
      • 3 Years Ago
      Did they ever find the husband?
      DivisibleByZer0
      • 3 Years Ago
      Proves that natural selection will find a way to weed us out yet.
      kevsflanagan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Myself even with my GPS I look up directions before leaving to ensure I understand where I'm going. Hell I own and in my car a map book of the US. They should do a survey of GPS owners and ask them "Do you know how to read a map?".
    • Load More Comments