Apple, Google to add railroad crossing data to map programs following fatal 2015 accident

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Date: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016, 05:27
Category: Google, iOS, News, Software

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Apple Maps will soon begin including railroad crossing data.

Following up on an accident last year in which Google Maps users Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez turned a Ford truck, hauling a trailer, where he thought the app was telling him to go, but wound up stuck on the railroad tracks at a poorly marked California crossing. After abandoning his vehicle, he and the engineer died after a commuter train barreled into the truck, a commuter train barreled into it, the accident also injuring 32 others.

Following a nearly two-year long investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board is calling on companies such as Apple and Google to add the exact location of 200,000 grade crossings to their mapping data…


A grade crossing, for those unaware, is defined as a place where road and railway lines are at the same level. This, in turn, makes it difficult for drivers to discern where a digital mapping app is telling them to turn.

In many cases, grade crossings are marked with gates or blinking lights, but rather a cross signing or a while “X” marked with “railroad crossing.” This causes drivers not to notice the tracks and potentially cross at a dangerous time, or turn onto the tracks and get stuck.

Google has stated that it would add audio and visual warnings to its mapping data, but has yet to do so. Apple has also agreed to add railroad crossing data, though without a specific timeline. An Apple spokesperson stated that Apple is actively working to add the data.

As always, stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via 9to5Mac and the New York Times

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