We may be inching towards the future of autonomous vehicles, but we're not quite there yet and a bus driver in Seattle has yet to figure that out. This is just another instance of individuals putting too much faith into GPS navigation devices. Following the directions from a Garmin GPS navigation unit, the Seattle bus driver attempted to go under a low footbridge that was a bit too low as it managed to scalp the bus and injure five. The driver was carrying home the Garfield High School girl's softball team. This unfortunate accident does bring up an interesting conundrum. The driver had put the Garmin device on the "bus" setting and failed to notice the signs prior to the bridge. Obviously the driver is to blame, but how much consideration should Garmin and other GPS manufacturers take when including a "bus" setting?
Garmin told the Seattle PI that its GPS navigation units don't include height information and that drivers should always watch for posted signs. As a zinger, Garmin even went as far as saying that it doesn't include stoplights in its mapping data and people are expected to obey those as well. An independent company supplies the underlying mapping information for Garmin. Should it be okay for a company like Garmin to include a GPS setting for buses, but not take into consideration height restrictions? And for the record, inputting vehicle height into a GPS is a very feasible option as TeleType already does it.
Most surprisingly, the nearly century-old bridge was not damaged more than minor chips and scratches. [Seattle PI]