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The Dangers of Luxury Cars and GPS

ieee Spectrum -- On the road, we increasingly rely on imperfect computer systems

Spectrum editor Steven Cherry talks to contributor Robert Charette about the risks and implications of technologies that are meant to make driving better. Recently, a California Highway patrolman and his family died in a car crash when he was unable to stop his Lexus ES350 from accelerating. In New York state, incomplete GPS information has contributed to an increase of commercial truck accidents, which has prompted potential legislation. Charette discusses how these particular stories illustrate the automation paradox--the more human operators rely on computer systems, the less likely they'll be ready to respond when those systems fail.


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Submitted Dec 01, 2012 By: ExplorerWA
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Author Topic: The Dangers of Luxury Cars and GPS Back to Topics
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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52MPG
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2012 4:37:03 PM

To many distractions.
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blupupher
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2012 9:53:36 AM

totally worthless blurb.
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jethro5000
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2012 9:51:52 AM

I still set that a driver has to use his mind, can't totally rely on computers...
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yardslave
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2012 6:44:32 AM

It's a computer. Some hardware and software.

Not a God......
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tomok
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2012 5:07:15 AM

The Dangers of Luxury Cars and GPS and it all comes down to using common sense. GPS systems, programs and map updates are Not perfect. Do No rely on a GPS unit with your life! A GPS unit is only a navigational aid Not to be used as the last word on vehicle travel.
Whatever the size or shape of the vehicle, vehicle manufactures Produce and the population ‘Drives’ vehicles with high MPG, are very safe, reliable, have a ‘reasonable’ cost and a good ‘value’ for the money.
The price of fuel at the pump is too high!
XII/XXII/MMXII!
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yankeeriffraff
All-Star Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2012 1:01:21 AM

A lot of the commercial truck accidents are caused by trying to get a 12 ft truck through an 11 ft underpass - doesn't fit.
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bston
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2012 12:53:41 AM

They're not foolproof!
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Tiernan
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2012 12:39:50 AM

Best not to depend on it solely.
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PrinceLH
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2012 12:11:27 AM

GPS is helpful but is also dangerous at times.
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jkpsr
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2012 12:04:38 AM

Trust, but verify!
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obimerrill
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2012 12:02:39 AM

You have to use it intelligently
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peridotgal
Rookie Author New York

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2012 12:01:54 AM

GPS may work for some people but I have never found it to be useful. I do not own one of these devices but a couple of friends have them. Needless to say, more than once we have traveled in circles or in the wrong direction because of incorrect directional information in the device. My husband stills keeps an atlas in his car. Whenever we are traveling and stop for a break, we look for maps. There are many state run facilities that provide maps for free. AAA is also another good choice for travel. Family members have requested maps and current road information prior to taking a trip. The information has always been very useful. What happened if the GPS is stolen from your vehicle? A friend of mine has had two of them stolen from her van. Thieves are not likely to steal paper maps. Sometimes, the old ways are the better ways. It is not hard to learn how to read a map. It's also cheaper on the wallet.
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rahcat
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2012 12:00:51 AM

Old News
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ortegs12009
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:52:33 PM

gas
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bvrbill
Champion Author Eugene

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:51:59 PM

I always check out a map,first.
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DEG
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:50:25 PM

Hopefully Microsoft never writes the software to control cars.
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SavALot
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:47:28 PM

Not a clear and present danger
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PizzaMon
Champion Author Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:46:53 PM

Bad hyperlink.
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vibdata
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:46:46 PM

On the road? Try everywhere. You know your medical procedures are most likely controlled by Microsoft Windows???? That should be ILLEGAL.
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gd83goldwinger
Champion Author South Bend

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:45:27 PM

True.
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sickhp
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:41:31 PM

I use GPS daily and will continue.
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jorod55
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:39:36 PM

I still don't trust GPS systems.
Once one of them wanted me to turn down a foot trail. Not happening in a 30 foot motor home. I like my paper maps, thank you.
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:36:47 PM


The text shown above is all there is and the audio won’t play. Oh well, it is obvious that there is too much electronic jimcrackery in cars nowadays. Better to remove the distractions, leave the driver alone and let him drive.
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AllStarFame
Rookie Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:35:44 PM

Flaws of technology.
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PrettyLittleLady
Champion Author Modesto

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:35:37 PM

I think they are as bad as a phone for distraction.
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ramshot412
Champion Author Riverside

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:35:10 PM

Okay.
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tjc09f
All-Star Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:32:41 PM

Interesting
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JimVP
All-Star Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:30:07 PM

Still do not use cruise control though my cars have them. While driving you should be awake.
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suzmar
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:27:08 PM

The driver still has to be alert.
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TornadoRed
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:22:31 PM

Incidentally, regarding accidents involving commercial trucks.... the GPS map systems I'm familiar with do not differentiate between truck routes and non-truck routes. So a trucker could easily be directed to turn onto a highway not designed to handle a truck of his size.
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flyfast
Champion Author Kansas City

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:19:54 PM

you still have to drive the car
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jl1rp
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:17:11 PM

Just wait till self driving cars hit the road. Less tech make better drivers.
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GrumpyCat
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:16:17 PM

Silly "journalists" let their computers do their writing for them.

All they care to hear is the problems. They never look to find the instances where the GPS helped.

The California highway patrolman died in a car with a low tech floor mat wedging the accelerator pedal. It happened in the same car, same floor mats, several days prior to his fatal accident.
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mplato
Champion Author Columbia

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:15:10 PM

next will be dangers of driving and full moons
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nimpy
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:14:02 PM

Just remember humans programmed and invented the technology
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serrog
Champion Author Nova Scotia

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:13:45 PM

Only as good as the dumb humans who rely on it
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s6sputnik
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:10:28 PM

Silly stuff technology!
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DarthDadJr
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:10:06 PM

I find GPSs useful, but we need to remember that it is fallible and can be wrong.
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GigHarborHound
Champion Author Tacoma

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:09:23 PM

Not again!!
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HA4CNN
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:08:47 PM

People should not follow GPS 100%.
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CiVX
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:07:31 PM

I have a luxury car with radio and power windshield wipers.
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CHEAPERBETTER
Veteran Author Lansing

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:06:29 PM

And they want us to have a car that drives itself. I don't think so.
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TornadoRed
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 11:03:12 PM

Want a laugh? Go to Google Maps, ask for directions between Wayzata, MN and Saint Paul, MN.

Then look at the directions -- especially what you are asked to do about mid-span on I-94 crossing the Mississippi River.
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TornadoRed
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 10:58:56 PM

I can see how relying on GPS directions could lead to an accident, if one takes a turn that he wasn't supposed to and then tries to over-correct. This is more likely to happen where there are inadequate signs or signs that are themselves unclear.
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wayoung56
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 10:57:55 PM

I have seen too many glaring map errors to put complete trust in a GPS, they are just aids in navigation, not a solve all problems panacea...

I still use paper maps to pre-plan trips whenever possible.
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Gas4Gore
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 10:57:34 PM

Oh my!
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sackman
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 10:54:36 PM

Interesting...
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Spankster85
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 10:51:59 PM

The problem is that GPS systems that are built into the actual vehicle are updated less frequently than a stand alone or phone GPS. Part of the issue is that the built in systems are way too expensive to update.
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GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 10:50:54 PM


When the FAA investigates an aircraft accident, unless it was caused by an entirely unforseeable mechanical failure it always comes down to the pilot's responsibility, which is #1 above all else to maintain control of the aircraft. Telling the FAA that your navigation instruments were faulty does not cut it. It should be the same for a driver.

It's true that the convenience of electronic stuff is making us lazier. I'm astounded by store cashiers these days being unable to make change unless the cash register tells them how much to give back. What ever happened to training?
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yorkygurl2008
Veteran Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 10:48:03 PM

PEOPLE NEED TO PAY ATTENTION
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