The Alaska Dispatch is reporting today that numerous drivers have trespassed on the runways at Fairbanks Airport while following the directions of Apple Maps:
At least twice in the past three weeks, drivers from out of town who followed the directions on their iPhones not only reached airport property, but also crossed the runway and drove to the airport ramp side of the passenger terminal.
“These folks drove past several signs. They even drove past a gate. None of that cued them that they did something inappropriate,” said Melissa Osborn, chief of operations at the Fairbanks airport.
The turn-by-turn directions were specific, using the access route that general aviation pilots use to the East Ramp, which is on the other side of the runway from the main airport terminal. The map directions concluded by telling drivers to go to Taxiway Bravo, shown as “Taxiway B” on the satellite image in the app. The directions did not tell drivers to cross the main runway used regularly by 737s and other aircraft.
But once drivers reached the taxiway, it was only natural for them to look up and see the terminal on the other side of the runway. So that’s where they drove.
BBC also covered this story, and they reported that Apple Maps was still trying to kill tourists as of this morning.
I’ve joked in the past about Apple stranding Australians in the middle of a desert, conveying in accurate info to a fire prevention system or Apple Maps getting punked by Afghan college students, but I think that this could be the first time that Apple has targeted a particular group of people.
It’s my belief that Apple’s intended victims in this case were tourists for the simple reason that I think it is unlikely that locals would need directions at this airport.
In any case, Apple Maps has been around for over a year and it’s still busted. As a result it has become a de facto Darwinist test which reveals those who should be removed from the gene pool.