GPS Directs Van Driver Into Harbor

Are the machines turning on us?

GPS system in a car
What if your GPS decided to mess with you?
Getty Images

What are your feelings on the likelihood of a robot uprising? One one hand, many experts have said that the threat of one is overrated. On the other hand, robot dogs can talk now, which seems like cause for alarm. And then there’s the case of a driver in Hawaii whose GPS suggested that they drive their van into the harbor — and who did, in fact, end up with their car submerged as a result.

An article at HawaiiNewsNow has more details of the incident, which took place in Kailua-Kona, located on the western side of Hawaii Island. The article cites witnesses to the van’s unexpected route who said that the family inside was seeking a manta ray excursion, only to get slightly misleading directions from the GPS system. Instead, they ended up partially underwater at the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor. Thankfully, several people in the area came to their aid and made sure that the occupants of the vehicle were able to exit safely.

One of the witnesses to the incident, Christie Hutchinson, told HawaiiNewsNow that “it took us a second to figure out what was going on because they didn’t seem panicked or have any sense of urgency to get out of the car.”

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This isn’t the first time GPS directions have led drivers into bodies of water — perhaps a case of life imitating art, given that GPS directions into a lake also factored into an episode of The Office. Or perhaps the robots are up to something. We’ll know soon enough.

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