Google Maps Error Sends People Seeking a Doctor to a School

Google has already corrected the error 15 photos
Photo: Google Maps/autoevolution edits
The new Google Maps UIThe new Google Maps UIThe new Google Maps UIThe new Google Maps colors with the impossible-to-track suggested routeThe fixed Google Maps versionThe new Google Maps UI in dark mode on CarPlayThe new Google Maps UI in dark mode on CarPlayGoogle Maps speed limit infoWaze on CarPlayWaze on CarPlayWaze on CarPlayWaze on CarPlayWaze on CarPlayWaze on CarPlay
As the world's number one mobile navigation app, Google Maps is currently running in millions of vehicles on the road, with drivers relying on its data to find addresses on unfamiliar routes.
Unfortunately, the smallest error in Google Maps' data could point drivers to a different address without them knowing about it, especially when driving to a destination they've never been before.

This is what happened recently in Montgomery, where drivers heading to the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services were sent by Google Maps miles away to the Grace Episcopal Day School in Kensington.

The Google Maps information shows the school approximately six miles (nearly 10 kilometers) from the health center.

School officials told the local media that approximately 100 people arrived at the location in the last two months, guided by Google Maps, to find a doctor. In some cases, they weren't even speaking English, so the school's Spanish teacher had to leave the class specifically to talk to the misguided Google Maps users and direct them to the correct address.

To prevent drivers from knocking on the school's door, the administration team erected a sign to tell them they're in the wrong place if they seek the medical center.

Meanwhile, the local media is reporting that Google has already corrected the error, albeit some people might still arrive at the wrong address if they saved the destination or didn't refresh the application, keeping the maps in the cache.

The case shows how much people rely on navigation apps to find destinations, sometimes following the suggested routes blindly and ignoring the street signs.

Authorities worldwide have been struggling to convince drivers to pay more attention to traffic signs and ignore Google Maps' directions, especially when they send users to the wrong locations. In some cases, officials or residents even erected signs to tell drivers that "Google Maps was wrong," offering additional information to direct them to a destination incorrectly listed in Google's app.

Meanwhile, Google typically handles these errors with utmost priority, albeit users must report them the second they notice a location has the wrong address. Google Maps comes with a built-in error reporting engine, so flagging a map issue doesn't take more than a few seconds.

Montgomery County says the DHHS staff can assist users in fixing Google Maps to find the correct address for the medical center now that Google has already corrected the error. However, users are recommended to search for the route before they begin driving and double-check that the destination is at the correct location.

A search giant representative told the local press that an investigation is underway, but considering the error has already been resolved, there's not much Google can do.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories