Australian police warn not to use Apple Maps

"Distressed motorists" lost in an Australian national park have blamed Apple's troubled Maps application for misdirecting them.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Victorian police have urged motorists to use a different maps application, after several motorists were misdirected by Apple Maps and were left stranded.

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps (Screenshot by Josh Taylor/ZDNet)

Mildura Police said today that there have been a number of incidents with motorists being misled by the app over the last several weeks.

"Local police have been called to assist distressed motorists who have become stranded within the Murray-Sunset National Park after following directions on their Apple iPhone," the police said in a statement.

"Tests on the mapping system by police confirm the mapping systems lists Mildura in the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park, approximately 70km away from the actual location of Mildura."

In the extreme temperatures during summer, this makes the app a potential risk to lives, according to the Victorian police.

"Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees [Celsius], making this a potentially life threatening issue," the police said.

"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."

The Victorian police have been in contact with Apple about the problem, seeking to have it rectified, but has advised people to use alternative mapping until it is resolved.

The troubled application has been the subject of scorn and mockery since Apple dumped Google Maps for its own app in iOS 6. It ultimately led to an apology from CEO Tim Cook, who said that the company was working to improve the information and design of the app, and he pointed to a number of alternatives that iOS users could use instead of the built-in application.

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