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.


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