Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Police Warn of Apple Maps’ ‘Life-Threatening’ Glitch

Update:  As of sometime Monday, December 10, 2012, Australian motorists can breath a sigh of relief, as the life-threatening Mildura glitch has been fixed.  


Murray-Sunset National park, inset: Apple Maps screen grab

Murray-Sunset National park, inset: Apple Maps screen grab

It seems that Apple’s switch from Google Maps to Apple Maps, has had some embarrassing, and life-threatening consequences. Police say they have tested the Maps software and have confirmed, and reported to Apple, that when used with iOS 6 the software shows Mildura in the middle of Murray-Sunset National Park, which is about 44 miles off the mark. According to Wikipedia, Mildura is a city with a population of about 30,000, while Murray-Sunset National Park is described as being “in one of the few remaining semi-arid regions in the world where the environment is relatively untouched. With its wide open landscapes, breathtaking sunsets and starry nights, its vastness and isolation will take more than a day to explore,” according to the Park Victoria website.

In fact, tourists with iOS 6 who have used their iPhones and iPads to travel to Mildura, have found themselves in the Australian bush. Victoria Police News reports that , “Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the Park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 [115°F] degrees, making this a potentially life threatening issue” — and there isn’t much of a cell phone signal out there. The website further reports that, “Some of the motorists located by police have been stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water and have walked long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception.”

In September 2012, Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook apologized on the company’s website for glitches in the Apple Maps software saying, “We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.” Senior Sergeant Stephen Phelan told The Guardian on Monday, “We’ve had at least four documented cases,” but there has been no official comment from Apple so far on this latest inconvenience.

Slideshow: Trapped by Technology

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