Google Maps is a phenomenal tool for finding your way around unfamiliar roads, but in some regions, local knowledge prevails. Recently, a group of tourists followed Google Maps directions through a flooded stream.

As reported by local publication CarToq, tourists in India were on route in an unfamiliar area, using Google Maps to reach their destination. The tourists were visiting Kerala, a state on India’s southwest coastline. Using a Toyota SUV to get from Munnar to Alappuzha, the group ended up stuck in a stream due to following Google Maps directions.

When the group met Kuruppanthara Kadavu, a small village, Google Maps directed the group straight through a stream. However, rains passing through the area meant that the stream was flooded. As the group approached the stream with the intent to cross, locals in the area tried to get the driver’s attention and prevent the accident, but the driver listened to Google Maps directions instead. That quickly led to the SUV getting stuck in the stream, though thankfully everyone inside of the car were able to get out, and the SUV was later pulled from the stream with the help of a truck. The village has since installed chains to prevent future incidents.

It just goes to show that, like any GPS, Google Maps isn’t perfectly knowledgable to all local conditions. CarToq cited two other examples from last year where Maps sent over users over a bridge that remains flooded and impassable for a few months out of the year, while another incident left a user to find an alternate route due to a damaged bridge.

The machine doesn’t always know best, but to Google’s credit, it makes a lot of effort to do the best it possibly can.

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Ben Schoon

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