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“I Got Lost Due to Google Maps”: Student Blames Navigation App for Being Late for Exam

Google Maps allegedly sent a student looking for the address of an examination center to a different place, causing him to fail the exam. He eventually arrived at the right location 27 minutes late, but was not allowed to take the test.
Trusting Google Maps blindly is never a good idea 23 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Google
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It all happened in India when a student named Konda Vinay tried to use Google Maps to find the location of the Government High School at NSP Colony on Google Maps.

The student claims Google Maps sent him to a completely different address, where no examination center existed. He stopped his motorcycle and asked the locals for directions, eventually arriving at the right place 27 minutes late.

According to the exam rules, he wasn’t allowed to take the test. Students can’t be late, and after the doors of the examination centers are closed, nobody else is allowed inside.

While Google Maps sending him to a different place could be a made-up excuse to be allowed to the exam, the incident also signals a growing problem with using navigation apps.

Motorists trust these solutions blindly when they use them for finding the address to a specific location. Most often, the likes of Google Maps and Waze are accurate, but the tiniest map error or even a typo in the address could point them to a different location, sometimes in the middle of nowhere.

At the same time, Google Maps can’t always be 100 percent up-to-date about what’s happening on the road. As such, it could sometimes tell motorists to use closed roads or paths that aren’t built for their vehicles. This is the reason drivers sometimes end up stuck on roads where their cars didn’t fit, simply because Google Maps had no idea what vehicle they were driving.

Google Maps doesn’t include a truck navigation mode either. Large vehicles, such as lorries and RVs, should use dedicated navigation software that takes into account the vehicle size, cargo, and road restrictions. Google Maps only offers route guidance for regular passenger cars. In some cases, truck drivers who used Google Maps for directions were sent on narrow roads where they got stuck, eventually calling emergency teams to help them continue the journey.

At the end of the day, navigation apps like Google Maps, Waze, and Apple Maps can be used safely as long as you don’t take everything they say for granted. Unlike our student, that is. This is why their parent companies recommend drivers to always check the traffic signs on the side of the road, regardless of what the sat-nav solution says you should do. This way, you can always be sure not only that you’re heading to the right destination but also that the road you use is appropriate for the vehicle you drive.
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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.
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