Getting lost on any trip can be a frightening experience. Losing your way in the middle of rural Australia can be downright derailing.
Several motorists recently became victim to such an experience while following Apple Maps directions on their iPhones towards Mildura, Victoria and were instead directed to the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park, a whopping 70 kilometres outside their destination.
Some were stuck for a long as 24 hours in the desert park’s sandy tracks – a “great spot for four wheel drive touring,” the website says – without access to food or water. Others walked long distances in search of phone reception and assistance, but being in the middle of Australia’s rural wilderness, some drivers decided to stay put in their vehicles until help arrived.
"We had a fellow trapped in there just on Friday night after his car became bogged. He saw a snake, a goat and a fox, and he was too scared to get out of the car," Mildura police Inspector Simon Clemence told Reuters.
According to Clemence, they were the lucky ones.
"These people have still been rescuable. But we've just had a 46C day (115 degrees F). If they were out there in that temperature and out of phone range, they would have been in serious trouble,” he said.
He spoke of the company’s work to improve the program in a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek: “We’re putting all of our energy into making it right. And we have already had several software updates. We’ve got a huge plan to make it even better. It will get better and better over time. But it wasn’t a matter that we … decided strategy over customers. We screwed up. That’s the fact.”
According to The Guardian, Mildura’s proper location has since been updated.