JOY AND BOB TRY TO GET SOMEWHERE BY GPS

We connected the DeLorme Earthmate GPS LT-40 receiver to a Sony Vaio laptop, installed their Street Atlas 2009, and started out to drive from our place to a shipping service a couple miles away. We already knew how to get there, of course, but did DeLorme?   

As soon as we left our place, the DeLorme software told us to turn left onto Church Street. Well, turning left on Church would meant turning the wrong way on a one-way street. So we ignored those instructions and continued on north, and the program automatically recalculated the route. But it reminded us that we had seen several cars turn west onto Church St. over the past few months, right into the oncoming traffic. Now we had to wonder if they were simply following instructions from their GPS systems. Fortunately, there weren’t any accidents but it brings up an interesting point: If a driver follows their GPS instructions and turns up a busy one way street the wrong way and gets into a crash, can they sue the company that provided the software? (Microsoft’s GPS system, by the way, makes you click “I agree,” that you won’t sue them, each time you turn on their GPS tracking.)  

The Sony Vaio screen was extremely difficult to read because of outside glare, even though it was a cloudy day. Joy had to cover her head and the laptop with one of Bob’s old shirts – like she was developing film — just so she could read the map. After a couple of blocks she said it was making her car sick. Forget that; we knew where we were going and just went there. 

 

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