Tech companies are ignoring pleas to add railroad crossings to digital maps

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,080   +131
Staff member

Sarah Feinberg, who led the Federal Railroad Administration when a fatal crash took place in Oxnard, California, in 2015, said the companies’ failure to act is “tantamount to gross negligence.”

Apple and Microsoft did not respond to requests for comment from Politico. Google said it remains “aware” of the recommendation and will continue to look for ways to bring drivers useful features that help them navigate safely. In 2017, however, the search giant told the NTSB that it faces a “balancing act” in which they have to add new features without “overcrowding” their mapping app which could lead to a sub-optimal user experience.

GPS maker Garmin said it added railroad crossing data into its products in 2016. TomTom also said its maps have designated railroad crossings marked.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there were 270 fatalities related to train collisions in 2017 based on preliminary statistics. That figure has trended downward significantly since 1981 when there were 728 fatalities on record.

Masthead credit: railroad crossing sign by gabriel12

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Posts: 524   +429
Do they really think people that ignore the big railroad crossing Xs and blinking lights and arms across the road (Where the government will install them) are going to pay attention to their GPS map?

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
That is one of their dummer decisions .... ANY imperative safety warning should be part of any and every map, no matter what the media.

Manu Arg

Posts: 11   +8
I Have never noticed the lack of that, probably because I’m always checking for road signs, all the GPS Maps are assistants and you should always been paying attention to signs and other stuff.
But yes, they should add at least a sound notification, it isn't that hard I guess


Posts: 1,868   +900
Hey here's an idea... make it an OPTION! Have RR crossing indicator on by default, and allow the user to turn it off with a warning message.

Why do they have to make things so damn difficult???

Anyway if someone is relying so heavily on digital maps more than what they can see with their own eyes that is their own stupid problem isn't it? They can earn their Darwin award and leave society with one less ID10T. Thank you very much.