How would it be if you relied on Google Maps navigation blindly and got lost in the middle of the jungle at midnight? Isn’t that scary? Here’s a Tata Harrier’s driver who experienced just the same.
Some will find it a very familiar story if they have ever followed Google Maps navigation blindly to reach a destination but ended up at a dead-end or in the middle of the field/ forest. In fact, we’ve heard many such incidents in and outside India when people found it extremely troublesome to rely on Google Maps. However, this should be the scariest incident that could be remade as a horror film.
“I was deep asleep when 2:30 AM a call woke me up. On the other side was my friend; distressed, stranded (along with his parents) in a jungle with his Harrier stuck in a muddy creek! (courtesy of google maps navigation)”, shared by Shishir333 who tells this incident on Team-BHP. The incident happened to his close friend who is a 2019 Tata Harrier XM. The driver was on his hometown trip from Pune to Jabalpur with his parents. With no much of an experience of the roads and long journeys, he decided to follow Google Maps without the preparedness. Well, this landed him in trouble,
The poor man departed from Pune at 9 AM and planned to reach Nagpur at night by 11 PM. The Google Maps did show him a route which suggested a detour from the main highway near Amravati. He followed the suggestion without any doubts, keeping good faith in Google Maps. After almost 14 hours of driving, they could finally reach Amravati which is still 160 kilometres from Nagpur. He continued the trip and after around 60 kilometres from Amravati, Google suggested a diversion from the main highway again.
This time around, the route was narrow, dark and in bad shape. Driving through the darkness in an hour and covering around 20 km, he ended up at a small creek crossing by with a broken bridge. With a keen eye, he found a small trail on the left of that bridge. Tired and scared, he took a blind leap of faith to go ahead. Unluckily, here’s where everything went wrong. As soon as the vehicle landed on the river bed, it lost the traction and got stuck in deep mud. After 30-35 minutes of his attempts, the situation even got worse with the wheels spinning, smoke getting out of the engine bay and defunct lighting system. All the lights of the Harrier went kaput, while the darkness surrounded and scared him and his parents in the car.
With the help from his friend, the Harrier owner called the GoDigit RSA at 2:30 AM. From around 70 km away, the RSA arrived after one hour and a half later. After towing the Harrier out of the gooey mud, they further helped him navigate through the dark road back to the highway as the headlamps of the Harrier weren’t working.
It is undeniable that Google Maps are very helpful and supportive when you travel within the city limits. However, for the long-distance commutes, one should not completely rely on Google maps navigation. Also, settings like routes without tolls, shortest routes, etc. also affect the accuracy of Google’s navigation that might lead you to the alternate route. Thus, it is advised to be careful and double-check if you think you are following the wrong direction. Also, ask the experienced drivers and experts who've covered the route well before starting a long journey. Most importantly, prepare an itinerary before beginning the journey and stay put to the highways.