Crowdsourced navigation app Waze directed tourists to drive right into a lake

Crowdsourced navigation app Waze directed tourists to drive right into a lake
If you're the type that blindly follows a navigation/GPS app to get from one place to another, you might think twice about doing that after hearing what happened to three tourists driving a Jeep through the state of Vermont. The driver of the vehicle was using Google-owned Waze for directions. For those unfamiliar with the app, Waze uses crowdsourced information to show drivers where they might encounter accidents, detours, police, or other traffic issues. The app also uses GPS to give you turn-by-turn directions. You can even setup the app to hear those directions in your own voice.

As these tourists were driving along, Waze directed them to turn onto a boat launch near the local Coast Guard station. According to the driver and the passengers in the Jeep, visibility was poor. It was dark and foggy, and before anyone in the car realized it, the car was 100 feet into Lake Champlain. All three men in the car were able to get out safely, and a spokeswoman for Google said that the company was happy to hear that everyone was okay. But Google could not come up with an explanation why Waze led the driver into a lake.

The Google spokeswoman added that Google encourages "drivers to keep their eyes on the road and use all environmental information available to them to make the best decisions as they drive." The owner of the Jeep, who had lent the vehicle to the tourists, went back to the Waze app and punched in the same information. The directions were exactly the same, leading anyone following them right into the lake.


No one was charged by the police although the driver admitted to consuming a beer at a nearby brewery. A field test did not show signs of intoxication.

The car was salvaged from the lake earlier this week.

source: 9News.com

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17 Comments

1. Tipus

Posts: 850; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Can't fix stupid

6. antroid

Posts: 387; Member since: Jan 24, 2018

Like when Michael Drives Into A Lake in the Office

7. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3123; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I've never heard of anyone driving into a lake using a folding paper map. Put the phone down and exercise some brain cells.

10. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I'll just stick with Google maps, oh yeah and my own two eyes!

12. gigicoaste

Posts: 447; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

waze has the worst navigation from all other known.. in Europe. Is good for the social network side.. but that is pretty much all.

15. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I personally rely on Sygic. Very reliable so far. And the best part is that it offers completely off-line turn-by-turn navigation. Just download the whole map once and that's it!

19. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Sygic is the best, especially for their lane assistance. Shame they aren't Android Auto compatible yet

16. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

I know where that picture was taken at (beginning of the story). It's in Fremont, CA right off of Mission Blvd. near I-680. Taking the side streets due to heavy traffic is common is this area. Unfortunately it has been upsetting the local residents that they have made the city set up a ton of no left turn or right turn signs during evening commute hours to prevent non-residents using their streets to bypass the most congested part of I-680. So they set up all these signs that say "Don't trust your apps" because navigation systems will re-route people through their neighborhoods to cut commute times.

22. Fellwalker

Posts: 535; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

Why does the title emphasise Crowdsourced navigation app? It is only the holdups that are crowdsourced. The roads are straight Google maps.

23. goodmorrow

Posts: 26; Member since: Feb 12, 2014

I never use directions/navigation on Waze. I only turn on Waze when I drive to locations I know because Waze will still tell you if cars or cops are coming up even if navigation is not used.

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