Understanding "Death by GPS": A systematic study of catastrophic incidents associated with personal navigation technologies

Allen Yilun Lin, Kate Kuehl, Johannes Schöning, Brent Hecht

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Catastrophic incidents associated with GPS devices and other personal navigation technologies are sufficiently common that these incidents have been given a colloquial nickname: "Death by GPS". While there is a significant body of work on the use of personal navigation technologies in everyday scenarios, no research has examined these technologies' roles in catastrophic incidents. In this paper, we seek to address this gap in the literature. Borrowing techniques from public health research and communication studies, we construct a corpus of 158 detailed news reports of unique catastrophic incidents associated with personal navigation technologies. We then identify key themes in these incidents and the roles that navigation technologies played in them, e.g. missing road characteristics data contributed to over 24% of these incidents. With the goal of reducing casualties associated with personal navigation technologies, we outline implications for design and research that emerge from our results, e.g. advancing "space usage rule" mapping, incorporating weather information in routing, and improving visual and audio instructions in complex situations. Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationExplore, Innovate, Inspire
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages1154-1166
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346559
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2 2017
Event2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: May 6 2017May 11 2017

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
Volume2017-May

Other

Other2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017
CountryUnited States
CityDenver
Period5/6/175/11/17

Keywords

  • GPS
  • Map apps
  • Personal navigation technologies
  • SatNav

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software

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