Tourists Trust Google Maps Navigation, End Up Stuck in the Middle of a Forest

The tourists were heading back to their hotel in Munnar 6 photos
Photo: Google Maps
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Google Maps is great for a lot of things, including not only getting navigation directions to reach a specific destination faster and easier but also for exploring areas from the comfort of our own homes.
But Google Maps is first and foremost a navigation app that people turn to whenever they need assistance to drive in a region they’ve never been to. And it’s all because the app is 99% of the time extremely accurate, with Google putting a lot of effort into keeping its maps up-to-date.

But on the other hand, the remaining 1% of the time is the living proof nobody should ever trust navigation apps blindly, as a simple map error could lead them to the middle of nowhere.

It happened before, and it happened again recently when a group of Indian tourists traveling back to their hotel in Munnar used Google Maps to find the route to the resort. The reason was simple as it could be: they didn’t know the area, so a navigation app was supposed to lend them a hand and make everything a lot more convenient.

Only that it didn’t, and instead, they trusted Google Maps up to the point where the navigation app took them off the road and instead sent the driver right to a forest. As it turns out, the tourists spent some 5 hours on this suggested Google Maps route, and for some reason, they didn’t think that not seeing a single car was a red flag.

So they ended up in the middle of a forest, where the car eventually got stuck in the mud, exactly in an area with no cellular signal. And what’s worse, the forest was known as the home of wild and very aggressive animals such as wolves and tigers, so the tourists couldn’t go very far from the car either.

Luckily enough, the driver managed to catch cellular signal in the proximity of the vehicle, though it still took several hours for the first responders to find them in the middle of the forest. The group was eventually rescued at approximately 4 a.m. in the morning.

At the end of the day, this is another sign that nobody should ever take everything provided by navigation apps for granted, especially when traveling in unexplored regions. If the suggested route doesn’t look like a proper road for your car, you’d better not use it unless you’re ready for the adventure of your life.
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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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