Requesting directions from modern mobile apps such as Google Maps is a common practice that many of us follow. There have been multiple incidents where people followed Google Maps and lost their way or got stuck royally. Here is one similar incident involving a Toyota Fortuner that followed the route suggested by Google Maps and ended up stuck on a staircase. Here’s the account of what transpired.
How many of you have been mislead by Google Maps 😳 appears to be a recurring problem.. i can't even count the number of times I've been directed to a dead end road
— Nabila Jamal (@nabilajamal_) January 29, 2024
The incident happened in the tourist destination in Ooty, Tamil Nadu. The people in the car were following Google Maps and were guided to take the path to reach their destination. However, they got stuck on a flight of stairs.
The small road seems to be a shortcut for pedestrians. It is connecting two roads. While we are not sure how the driver took the staircase but since the incident happened at night with low visibility, such things are likely to happen.
It is also possible that the Google Maps was set on “Walking”, which shows the shortest routes that one can use to walk to their destination.
The later part of the video shows cops helping out the Toyota Fortuner, which was driven down the staircase slowly. The vehicle was not stuck on the staircase, it moved on its own to the end.
Many such incidents happened in the past
In the past, there have been incidents where people faced trouble by blindly following Google Maps. Some incidents involved individuals driving into water bodies or taking less-used roads in India solely based on Google Maps guidance. A few years ago, a person driving a Tata Harrier got stuck on a riverbed after following Google Maps through a forest in the middle of the night. It took hours for help to arrive and rescue him. The man had set Google Maps to avoid toll roads and didn’t realize the road he was heading into. It’s advisable to gather information from locals and cross-verify routes suggested by Google Maps.
In a another incident late at night, three teenagers, aged 18 to 19, were returning home after a birthday party. They ended up driving their Kia Seltos over a railway track for about 80 meters before getting stuck. The rail traffic was halted for an hour near Ballygunge Railway Station. The teenagers claimed that Google Maps led them onto the railway tracks. The railway authorities and the Railway Protection Force lodged FIRs against the driver and all three passengers in the car. Despite some misbehavior and finding a can of beer in the vehicle, medical tests confirmed they were not drunk.
While Google Maps is excellent for city navigation and daily commutes to provide traffic information, blindly relying on it for long-distance journeys can be risky. Settings like fastest route, routes without tolls, and shortest route can affect the route selection, leading to unnecessary diversions. It’s wise to consult experts, join forums for discussing long-distance journeys, trust your instincts, and double-check if you sense the maps are directing you in the wrong direction.