Driver Beware! The Most Ridiculous GPS Fails


Over the past 10 years, we have set aside the old days of scrutinizing a map and trying to figure out where we’re going (before inevitably getting lost). The advent of GPS has meant that we don’t have to worry about that anymore. We turn on the little friendly box on the dashboard and we’re off – knowing that if we make a wrong turn, a quick reroute from the computer and we’ll be back where we need to be.

Of course, where there is an over-reliance on our gadgets, there is always the potential for mishap. Not updating your GPS maps regularly can cause problems if you venture into a new development, while it’s always possible to misunderstand what the navigation wants you to do. We all have moments where we have stared at the display in dismay and wondered what on earth it means, venting our frustration with the instructions we’re receiving.

So… want to feel better about those moments? It’s one thing to temporarily lose your patience with the disembodied voice, but it’s quite another to follow along and get yourself into trouble – which is exactly what these people did…

Lake-ing For Trouble

We begin in 2011 in Seattle. Three young women were driving their rental SUV when – they claim – the GPS informed them the best route forward was… right through the middle of the lake. All three managed to scramble out safely and no worse for their experience, though whether you can say the same about the auto repair job needed on that SUV is quite another.

It really puts into perspective the times you have turned off the GPS in annoyance, got lost, and then sheepishly turned it back on again, doesn’t it?

The Wrong Kind Of Track Day

Hopping across the pond now, it seems the Brits are just as capable of a GPS fail as we are. Satlegh Mohammadi followed his GPS navigation right onto a set of railway tracks, and continued for 20 feet before realizing his error. He was flagged down by National Rail staff, and though he had been drinking, he was under the drink-drive limit – so it seems this one really was down to following along with the GPS.

Bad Letter Day

The Isle of Capri is lovely – home to the Roman Emperors of old and now flocked to by tourists from all over the world. You’re on a driving holiday, so naturally, you’re going to want to sample the coastal driving routes on the island. You pull up the GPS and type in: C – A – R – P – I. Next stop: the famous landmarks of Capri!

Or, your GPS doesn’t intuit that you actually meant C – A – P – R – I and instead sends you to the suburban, industrial town of Carpi… which is 400 miles away from your intended destination.

Yes, it happened to a Swedish couple in 2009. The rather bemused tourism board of Carpi announced they had no idea how it had happened, given that Capri is an island and their town most definitely is not.