Despite some observers saying that Apple Maps on iOS 7 is better than Nokia’s Here Maps & Google Maps, that’s definitely not the case for anyone trying to drive to the Fairbanks (Alaska) airport recently.
As the Alaska Dispatch newspaper reported on Tuesday, Apple Maps has sent out-of-towners driving dangerously across an airport runway at least two times in the past three weeks.
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.
Fortunately, no one was hurt in either of the two instances of driving across the runway.
Apple Maps suffered several black eyes like this in the early days after its launch in September of last year — problems that eventually forced Apple CEO Tim Cook to apologize and recommend other mapping apps. Apple has since been making acquisitions and bulking up on staff, and there haven’t been any problems like this reported in a long while.
According to the newspaper report, Apple disabled directions to the airport and promised a fix by yesterday. As of late last night however, no fix was in place and users were still unable to get directions to the airport.
(Screenshot above via AlaskaDispatch.com.)