August 06, 2008

SkyNet Slips, Prematurely Exposes Portion Of Its Plan

See? See? I've been on about this sort of thing for years and years:

CANNONVILLE, Utah - A GPS device led a convoy of tourists astray, finally stranding them on the edge of a sheer cliff. ADVERTISEMENT

With little food or water, the group of 10 children and 16 adults from California had to spend a night in their cars deep inside the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

They used a global positioning device to plot out a backcountry route Saturday from Bryce Canyon National Park to the Grand Canyon.

But the device couldn't tell how rough the roads were. One vehicle got stuck in soft sand, two others ran low on fuel. And the device offered suggestions that led them onto the wrong dirt roads, which ended at a series of cliffs.

The group was so lost it couldn't figure out how to backtrack and started to panic. Kids were crying, and one infant was sick with fever, according to a member of the party.

"It was a nightmare the vacation from hell," Daniel Cohen, back home safely in Los Angeles, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "That's a story I will tell my kids. For now, I don't want anybody to know about it."

I tell you truly, friends, that falling in love with your little GPS doohickie is a fatal mistake. Sure, you're seduced by her seeming eagerness to please now, but you're just letting your guard down. One of these days she's going to lead you straight into an ambush with your eyes wide open. And the last thing that you'll hear before the T-1000's open fire is the sound of her murmuring, "Buh-bye."

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Posted by Robert at August 6, 2008 02:07 PM | TrackBack

GPS is great and I relied on it in far crappier places than a national park, especially to get a fix on current location. However, it is not magic and the map on the screen may not be ground truth, espcailly for turn by turn directions.

Posted by: LMC at August 6, 2008 02:13 PM

back when I was a navi-guesser in the navy, we always used as many nav-aids as possible. Still nothing beats a good map to tell you ground truth, and how much water under the keel.

and no technology will keep people from being stupid.

Posted by: Jon at August 6, 2008 02:52 PM

I'm a luddite apparently. I'm still using an old fashion road atlas to get around.

Posted by: stillers at August 7, 2008 03:39 AM

Navy training -
Never depend upon a single source for navigation.

With family last summer in Denver, father-in-law had a GPS device - that was not updated with the new interstate on-ramps - GPS was telling us to turn left onto service road - when the ground truth was to turn right onto onramp.

I use Google maps for trip planning.

Posted by: Marvin at August 7, 2008 08:54 AM