Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,993
19,855



Drivers who use Apple's Maps app for directions to the Fairbanks International Airport in Alaska are being instructed to drive onto an airport taxiway, reports AlaskaDispatch. The taxiway is located directly across from the runway, which is used by aircraft on a regular basis. Though the instructions do not direct drivers to the runway, people have driven there by mistake.

fairbanksairportmaps.jpg
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.
According to the airport's chief of operations, Melissa Osborn, out-of-town drivers have driven onto airport property twice in the past several weeks, crossing the runway and driving directly 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," she said.

Though airport staff have complained to Apple via the attorney general's office, the Maps app is currently still routing drivers to the taxiway. Apple's legal department promised a quick fix, but the issue reoccured causing the airport to close access to Taxiway Bravo. Apple has now promised a fix by Wednesday.

Apple's Maps app has managed to stay out of the spotlight in recent months, but this is not the first time Maps users have been given potentially life threatening advice. Back in December, the Maps app was directing motorists in Victoria, Australia to the middle of the wilderness.

Apple has made efforts to improve its mapping app after facing significant criticism over data inaccuracies when the app launched. The company has hired dozens of "ground truth" experts around the world to improve the quality of its mapping service and has also acquired a number of mapping apps including HopStop, Locationary, and Embark.

Apple CEO Tim Cook famously apologized for Maps after its disastrous launch, stating that Apple was "extremely sorry" for the frustration that it had caused, promising to work "non-stop" until Maps was improved.

Update: Apple has removed the taxiways from its Maps app and added several "Road Closed" icons in the vicinity to help alert drivers, but the app is now unable to offer directions to the airport.

fairbanks_airport_no_directions.jpg

Article Link: Apple's Maps App Directs Alaska Drivers onto Airport Taxiway
 

freedevil

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2007
816
1
Apple should have just paid google instead of going through this inefficient route. Tom tom will never be as good.
 

Supacon

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2011
90
175
Canada
This is so funny but oh so sad. After a year Apple's maps seem to have only marginally improved and they are so slow to fix egregious well-known errors. Big ones.

As an aside, my dad has been complaining to Apple to get his business listed for a year now, and yes, it is listed in Yelp but it doesn't make any difference. It's very frustrating for us.
 

Joe-Diver

macrumors 6502
Aug 2, 2009
265
0
"Turn right on taxiway B"
"Hold short for landing flight"
"Proceed to terminal A Gate 36"
"Turn your dumbass blind following butt over to police"
 

DollaTwentyFive

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2010
747
4
Parts Unknown
Is this the only airport in the US without a fence or gate?

Ha ha. I just used maps to get directions from my location. Sure enough, it tells me to turn onto taxiway bravo. Awesome!
 
Last edited:

Jeff3f

macrumors member
Nov 12, 2010
78
6
forget turning electronic devices off for take-off/landing. These guys needed to switch them off before leaving the house!
 

randyj

macrumors regular
Aug 23, 2004
175
273
How is this still front page news.
Google maps was riddled with errors in the early days. It took 4 years for them to update a 2 way street I worked in from a one way street.
It is only because Apple has 700 million IOS devices out there that a lot of errors have been found. All will be fixed in due course.
 

mbh

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2002
400
73
Apple should fix this bogus road. The Airport should have a fence (with a closed gate) around the runway to prevent random traffic from wandering in there. The drivers who did this should be fined and sent to driver's education school for failure to pay attention to where they were driving. Seems like lots of fault to go around, but it's ultimately the driver's responsibility to drive safely.

People have been doing dumb things in their cars a lot longer than Apple Maps has been around.
 
Last edited:

rydewnd2

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2007
171
4
New York City
Apple should have just paid google instead of going through this inefficient route. Tom tom will never be as good.

Google wouldn't give iOS users turn by turn navigation at all. The only reason they have it now is to appear the "better" alternative to Apple Maps. I've had Google maps give me insane directions also, Apple's just getting all the press because of how poorly they came out of the gates.
 

aloshka

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2009
1,415
670
Apple should have just paid google instead of going through this inefficient route. Tom tom will never be as good.

Absolutely not!!! Google has ads everywhere. I searched for my bank and had 5 ads that showed up for refinancing a house. I will take Apple maps anytime. Granted, the directions have been perfect for me in CO.

Afterwards I got ads for bank of the west, which is my bank. Nice that google remembered that and kept throwing me ads. Google maps finally defeated privacy.
 

aloshka

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2009
1,415
670
How is this still front page news.
Google maps was riddled with errors in the early days. It took 4 years for them to update a 2 way street I worked in from a one way street.
It is only because Apple has 700 million IOS devices out there that a lot of errors have been found. All will be fixed in due course.

I agree with you. I'm not a fanboy, but google maps was sometimes off by an entire city in CO. It was fixed after so many years. And then when it became good, they plagued it with ads.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.