UPDATE: Apple has partially fixed the problem.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Yeah yeah, we all know that Apple Maps suck. But apparently the problem is worse than adding a few extra minutes to your commute or getting you lost in an unfamiliar city. According to reports, Apple Maps are stranding motorists in the middle of nowhere without food or water.
The news comes out of Australia, where local police in Mildura are asking motorists to stay away from Apple Maps. In the past few weeks, police have had to rescue “distressed motorists” who found themselves stranded inside the Murray-Sunset National Park, a 6330 sq km park in Victoria, northwest of Melbourne. Police say that people were trying to reach Mildura, but were led astray by Apple’s new maps product inside iOS 6.
“Tests on the mapping system by police confirm the mapping systems lists Mildura in the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park, approximately 70km away from the actual location of Mildura,” they said.
According to the report, police have actually had to assist a stranded motorist that had walked a long way through the park in order to find reception. More than one person had been out there for 24 hours without food or water. Police warn that a lack of water supply plus temperatures that can reach 46 degress Celsius (114 degrees Fahrenheit) can make someone’s time out in the Murray-Sunset National Park a dangerous one.
When Apple Maps launched with iOS 6, the negative reviews began pouring in almost instantly. The backlash was so bad that CEO Tim Cook felt the need to issue a public apology for the product’s shortcomings. He suggested that until Apple works out the kinks, people should use Google Maps, Waze, Bing Maps, and more competing products.
This is a serious problem for Apple. It’s one thing to be led to the wrong house or to a businesses’ old location or something. It’s another thing to be led 43 miles out in the middle of the desert. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update this article accordingly.