Lentis/GPS and Driving - Wikibooks, open books for an open world
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Lentis/GPS and Driving – Wikibooks, open books for an open world


A regular GPS navigation system

Working commercially since 1995, the International Positioning System (GPS) is a community of satellites which gives location data wherever on the floor of the Earth the place there’s an unobstructed line of sight to 4 or extra satellites.[1] One of the vital fashionable makes use of of GPS is as a navigational instrument whereas driving. Very like seat belts and radios, GPS models are shortly turning into a regular function in most vehicles.

How does GPS have an effect on the best way we drive? What sudden penalties does this expertise convey with it?

Advantages of GPS[edit]

The variety of competing GPS producers is a testomony to the versatile nature of this expertise. TomTom, Garmin, Navteq,Magellan, and Google Maps are simply a number of the many firms concerned in GPS. This competitors spurs modern makes use of of the expertise, benefiting drivers and society.

Advantages to Drivers[edit]

GPS methods possess many benefits over conventional navigation strategies corresponding to maps and street indicators. Whereas these strategies require visible consideration, GPS models present auditory cues and a simplified interface for fast viewing. As well as, these methods map out routes forward of time, offering road names and distances in order that drivers will not be distracted. These advantages pay statistical dividends: a number of research have attested to the improved security of GPS models. Whereas these experiences are often funded by GPS system producers, they nonetheless level to essential developments in driving patterns. A examine performed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and funded by GPS maker TomTom revealed a number of spectacular statistics of improved security. 77% of drivers felt extra in management when utilizing GPS methods, 72% felt much less careworn, and 53% felt extra alert on the street.[2] In an analogous examine performed by social science analysis group NuStats and funded by Navteq, GPS-using drivers used 12% much less gasoline, drove 1500 much less miles, and emitted 24% much less carbon dioxide. These statistics level to a safer and extra environment friendly driving expertise supplied by GPS models.[3]

GPS & Insurance coverage[edit]

GPS has the potential to alter the best way we see auto insurance coverage. By monitoring a driver’s pace, acceleration, and hours on the street, GPS can present a way more correct danger evaluation than traditional actuarial tables. Insurance coverage firms have begun to supply premiums based mostly on telematics information, together with GPS, somewhat than conventional measures. This usage-based insurance coverage (UBI) is very attractive for drivers in high-risk demographics, corresponding to younger males. It additionally encourages secure driving habits by rewarding cautious habits on the street. Diane Koken, the previous insurance coverage commissioner for Pennsylvania, stated that UBI “permits prospects to grasp and truly remove their danger behaviors, and hopefully to even scale back accident frequency.”[4] A number of insurance coverage firms have already begun to supply UBI as an choice to their prospects, and business consultants anticipate 20 p.c of all auto insurance coverage in the US to include UBI throughout the subsequent 5 years.Invalid tag; invalid names, e.g. too many GPS monitoring for UBI has raised privateness issues as a result of it may well monitor a person’s location.[4] As UBI grows in reputation, its privateness issues will proceed to maneuver into the general public highlight. Researchers have prompt designing GPS models that ship solely the minimal information required for calculation of insurance coverage premiums.[5] Some insurance coverage suppliers, corresponding to Progressive, have merely opted to supply UBI based mostly on accelerometer and mileage information, bypassing the necessity for GPS altogether.[6]

GPS Fleet Monitoring[edit]

Corporations within the trucking business have begun utilizing GPS to trace autos of their fleets, which has led to a serious social shift throughout the business. Previous to GPS expertise, firms had little oversight of their drivers’ actions. This freedom inspired reckless habits like rushing and fatigued driving, which endangered each security and firm income.[7] GPS has modified this by permitting firms to watch their workers’ autos. Harmful or inefficient behaviors might be shortly recognized and corrected, making the roads safer for different drivers. This additionally has the good thing about lowering trucking prices and emissions by figuring out the shortest paths to locations and making certain that fuel-efficient speeds are maintained. GPS information may also be used to reconstruct accidents, and can be utilized in litigation to determine fault.[8]

Risks of utilizing GPS[edit]

Whereas there are lots of benefits to GPS methods, there are additionally risks related to their use. Chief amongst these is the elevated temptation to interface with the GPS unit whereas driving, whether or not to change a route or change its settings. In response to the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration, 17% of car crashes concerned distracted driving.[9] GPS is actually not the one trigger for such distractions, but it surely presents a possibility for the consumer to occupy his or her arms and a spotlight. Makes an attempt to fight this embody a warning display on the GPS, locks on its performance till the car is stopped, and laws. A report in 2012 revealed that drivers in California had been being ticketed for utilizing GPS on smartphones whereas driving.[10] Different states have begun legislating the GPS distraction battle as nicely: 26 states have outlawed windshield mounts for GPS models to forestall obstruction.[11] Such distractions and obstructions can pose severe security issues and counteract the environment friendly driving habits that GPS ought to induce.

Belief in GPS[edit]

Signal directing truckers away from the parkway system in New York

The next are a number of examples of drivers placing a lot belief in GPS – with out understanding its limitations – that each posted indicators and customary sense are ignored when hazard looms.

Bridge Strikes[edit]

Catastrophe can strike when a truck driver fails to plan his or her route fastidiously to keep away from low-clearance bridges. In response to growing incidents of truck-bridge collisions, New York state fashioned a Bridge Strike Process Power in 2009. This activity pressure discovered a very excessive price of occurrences on the parkway system regardless of signage directing truckers towards expressways.[12] In a 2011 survey, New York State Troopers discovered that 90 p.c of truckers who struck parkway bridges had been following directions from a GPS unit.[13] Such models don’t take into consideration the scale of the consumer’s car when planning routes, and will not be appropriate for truck route planning.

Loss of life Valley Tragedies[edit]

In July of 2010, Donna Cooper and two others ventured into Loss of life Valley on a day journey that changed into a 3 day battle for survival. Their GPS unit directed them off the freeway onto filth roads for a brief lower to their vacation spot. They shortly turned misplaced, and defective instructions from their GPS unit guided them farther from civilization till they ran out of gasoline. A rescue helicopter noticed the group two days later, sweltering within the 120 diploma warmth.[14]
Others haven’t been so fortunate. Within the final 15 years, at the least a dozen Loss of life Valley guests have died from heat-related sickness.[15] In 2009, a mom and son utilizing their GPS unit turned caught on a long-abandoned mining path. The mom barely survived, and her son perished earlier than they had been discovered.[16]

900 Mile Detour[edit]

In January 2013, Sabine Moureau drove to choose up a good friend at a prepare station an hour’s drive north of her dwelling in Wallonia, Belgium. She programmed her GPS to take her there, and solely when she reached Zagreb, Croatia did she understand she had been misdirected. Trusting totally in her GPS, she drove 900 miles by Germany, Austria, and Slovenia, filling up her gasoline tank twice and even stopping to spend the evening in her automotive, all with out questioning the navigator’s directions. Mrs. Moureau informed reporters she had merely let the GPS take over and shut her thoughts off, saying, “I used to be distracted.”[17][18]

Neurological Influence of GPS[edit]

Hippocampus, highlighted in purple (Animation)

MRI scans have proven that when in comparison with frequent GPS customers, non-users have extra grey matter within the hippocampus, the part of the mind concerned in reminiscence and spatial mapping.[19] This corroborates a 2010 Berkeley examine claiming that GPS makes driving routes extra correct however decreases broader understanding of the spatial structure of a metropolis.[20] A 2006 examine confirmed that taxi drivers in London, who’re required to be taught 25,000 metropolis streets by reminiscence, have extra hippocampus grey matter than their friends. This once more signifies a robust hyperlink between psychological spatial mapping and hippocampus dimension.[21]

The Autopilot Impact[edit]

We introduce the autopilot impact to explain an absence of frequent sense in decision-making attributable to overconfidence in expertise. This time period was chosen as a result of a standard perpetrator in lots of aviation errors is misplaced belief in autopilot. In 2009, for instance, overreliance on autopilot in icy circumstances was cited as an element within the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407.[22] Belief in autopilot can be thought to have performed a task within the crash of Asiana flight 214 in July 2013.[23]
The autopilot impact can be utilized to grasp most of the driving mishaps attributed to GPS. In-vehicle GPS navigation methods are designed to seek out essentially the most environment friendly path to a vacation spot, however altering site visitors patterns can shortly make a tool’s maps inaccurate. Issues come up when drivers assume GPS models to be infallible and fail to evaluate conditions on the street with their very own judgment.
The autopilot impact may also be noticed in different facets of on a regular basis life. Overreliance on autocorrect can result in embarrassing miscommunication, and overuse of calculators can cripple college students’ skill to carry out even primary psychological calculations.[24]

Opposition to GPS[edit]

A slender road in Wedmore, England

There have been no teams discovered that assist the outright elimination of GPS. Subsequently, the time period opponents on this case refers to these teams combating to limit GPS use. Most opponents are regulatory our bodies and small teams of people.

Federal Motor Provider Security Administration[edit]

In September 2012, New York state Senator Charles Schumer referred to as on the Division of Transportation to research a rise in bridge strikes by business vans utilizing GPS models.[25] The FMCSA acquired concerned and carried out a two-step plan to handle the issue in New York. It started distributing official suggestions to trucking operators encouraging the choice of skilled grade navigation methods. This is able to guarantee trucking firms used GPS models that take bridge clearances and truck dimension into consideration when planning routes.

Nationwide Freeway Transportation Security Company[edit]

In February of 2012, NHTSA printed tips for automakers on mitigating the distraction brought on by GPS use.[26] The publication cites a variety of federal research on driver distraction and singles out GPS capabilities it considers most harmful. For instance, NHTSA discourages the usage of dynamic shows, which comply with the motive force’s path.[9]

Rural English Villages[edit]

A lot of small English cities have seen an inflow of huge cargo vans following GPS instructions onto their slender nation roads. In Wedmore, England, misguided vans have torn fences, ripped off automotive mirrors, and even wedged themselves between buildings. Residents are campaigning to have their city faraway from GPS databases. In response, firms corresponding to Tele Atlas prompt the cities set up their very own indicators to keep off vans.[27]


In August 2013, Gary Bojczak was fined $32,000 for jamming GPS indicators on the Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport. He had put in a GPS-jamming gadget in his pickup truck to cover his location from his employer.[28] This protest echoes the frustrations of different privateness advocates who really feel that employer-mandated GPS monitoring models invade their privateness.[29]

Charlie Callagan is a ranger on the Loss of life Valley Nationwide Park. In response to quite a few circumstances of misplaced vacationers, Mr. Calligan and different rangers started working with TomTom, Navteq, and Google Earth to replace digital data of over 100 Loss of life Valley roads. When requested about these incidents he stated, “It is what I am starting to name demise by GPS. Persons are renting autos with GPS they usually do not know the way it works and they’re keen to belief the GPS to guide them into the center of nowhere.”[15]

GPS & Autonomous Automobiles[edit]

A Lexus outfitted as a Google driverless automotive

A future utility of the social interface of GPS expertise is autonomous autos. Whereas most of this examine has centered round how GPS overrides customers’ frequent sense, autonomous autos should rely totally on exterior navigation models. Concern of catastrophe has led a number of teams to develop non-GPS navigational sources. As a part of the DARPA Grand Problem for autonomous car improvement, a navigational system comprised solely of accelerometers, gyroscopes, and clocks has been constructed. [30] A competitor, the Google Driverless Automobile, makes use of extremely particular street and terrain maps to enhance GPS models. [31] As autonomous autos proceed to develop, these challenges will pose an fascinating examine for the Autopilot Impact.


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