Apple’s Maps software is continuing to cause problems a year after its release, with reports today claiming that the software directed some Alaskan users to drive along the taxiway of Fairbanks International Airport.
According to Fairbanks, in the past two weeks 2 motorists had driven across the taxiway on two separate occasions, September 6 and September 20. Fairbanks complained to Apple through the local attorney general, and were reassured that problem would be rectified by today, Wednesday 25. However the BBC, on investigating further has found that the software is still directing motorists to drive across the final section of taxiway, which has since been barricaded to prevent further incidents of this nature.
Despite several signs to the contrary, both motorists persisted with Apple Maps’ directions and drove along the taxiway, and across runway 20L, which is used by Boeing 737 aircraft, thankfully, no accidents occurred.
Commenting on the event, Nick Dillon of Ovum research stated:
“With Apple Maps the firm has made a rare misstep by releasing a product which has not lived up to its own high standards.
“Apple evidently did not fully grasp the complexity involved in deploying a mapping service and its continuing woes show that it is not an easy thing to fix.”
This isn’t the first time Apple’s Maps has endangered the lives of users, last year Australian police labelled the software as “life-threatening” when motorists became stranded in a national park in Mildura Victoria. In a bid to improve its Maps software Apple has carried out the acquisition of several established mapping developers such as Hopstop and Embark.
The news today is a clear confirmation that despite many improvements to the troubled software, Apple Maps is still most certainly a work in progress. If you’re ever using the software in a situation where taking a wrong turn could put you in harm’s way, be sure to pay attention to all your surroundings as you travel, and if you see a huge, one-lane highway with a jet on it, please don’t try to cross it.