Los Angeles police tell drivers not to trust navigation apps as wildfires engulf area

There's no traffic on that road because it's ON FIRE!

41 Reg comments Got Tips?

As wildfires continue to rage around Los Angeles, the local police have asked drivers to be somewhat skeptical about navigation apps.

So far, over 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes as the fires are spreading fast, helped by dry conditions and 80mph winds. With over 116,000 acres currently engulfed in flames, many residents fleeing have been loading up their possessions and bugging out, but navigation apps aren't helping.

In a press conference on Wednesday, LAPD commander Blake Chow said that some navigation apps are correctly identifying traffic-free streets, but that the reason they were unjammed was because they happened to be on fire. He urged residents to use caution before trusting their navigation apps, the Los Angeles Times reports.

LiDAR viewer image by Oxbotica

Autonomous driving in a city? We're '95% of the way there'

READ MORE

Instead, the police are asking residents to listen out for updates and obey roadblock signs when they are erected which “will help us, and it will help LA City Fire,” said Chow.

People placing too much faith in electronic navigation is nothing new; pretty much since its invention, there have been reports of people driving into rivers or getting stuck on inappropriate roads. Australian police even issued a warning about Apple's lousy maps by saying they could get people killed.

Google has skin in the current situation, since its Maps app and Waze are the two most popular navigation software packages. The Chocolate Factory hasn't responded to a request for information but is reportedly working with LA police to rectify the situation.

In the meantime, the official California state traffic app, Quickmap, is posting real-time road closures in the area. Drivers should check routes before setting out and, when on the road, pay attention and try to avoid a Darwin Award nomination. ®

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER


Keep Reading

Artful prankster creates Google Maps traffic jams by walking a cartful of old phones around Berlin

Silent geolocation-dependent services are so reliable

FYI: Your browser can pick up ultrasonic signals you can't hear, and that sounds like a privacy nightmare to some

High-frequency audio could be used to stealthily track netizens

Your phone wakes up. Its assistant starts reading out your text messages. To everyone around. You panic. How? Ultrasonic waves

Video Not OK Google: Android, Siri sink in SurfingAttack

Broadcom sends its England-based staff back into office as UK lockdown eases – though Welsh workers get a free pass

'Split-shift model' to safely help 'critical infrastructure workforce' do its thing

If there's something strange in Symantec's neighborhood, who you gonna call? Not Broadcom, it seems: Systems go down, cut off customers

And now back on their feet after global two-hour wobble

Google Maps gets Incognito fig leaf: We'll give you vague peace of mind if you hold off those privacy laws

Location data is likely to remain accessible to web ads giant, network service providers, apps

Caltech takes billion-dollar bite out of Apple, Broadcom for using its patented Wi-Fi tech without paying a penny

Knock knock knock: Give us the money! Knock knock knock: Give us the money!

Apple: We respect your privacy so much we've revealed a little about what we can track when you use Maps

But we've only done it to help governments understand that virus thing you may have heard about lately

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020