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Are we relying too much on GPS?

Most of us couldn’t imagine driving without a GPS, but are we relying too much on our GPS systems? With GPS now and for some time on every one of the 3.5 ...

Most of us couldn’t imagine driving without a GPS, but are we relying too much on our GPS systems?

With GPS now and for some time on every one of the 3.5 billion smartphones on the planet, nearly every driver on the road at least has the option of a digital personal assistant navigating them step by step to their destination.

But blind faith in the navigator inside our phone sometimes fails us.

“These systems are inherently flawed. They’re not perfect,” Robert Sinclair said.

AAA Northeast Region Media Relations Manager Robert Sinclair fields lots of complaints from members about reportedly rogue GPS units that are unable to anticipate traffic, unconcerned by construction detours, or just unaware of where streets lead.

“I worry that we’re becoming too reliant not only on GPS, but all the technologies that are coming on vehicles these days,” Sinclair said.

Counterpoint: was it really safer with a tiny-fonted road atlas spread out over our lap or steering wheel?

Probably not.

Still, Sinclair argues every vehicle should contain road maps, every driver’s ed student should learn to read said maps, and we should not suspend our brains behind the wheel. Or, in the case of large trucks in this area of parkways and low overpasses, rely on a private GPS app instead of the commercial version.

“We recommend that they keep maps as a backup. I mean, these things could fail. Who knows what might happen, satellites get blown out of the sky or something,” Sinclair said.

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