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Police issue warning after Apple Maps leads drivers astray in Australian wilderness (update: fixed)

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mildura apple maps
mildura apple maps

Local police in the city of Mildura, Australia, have been forced to warn motorists of the inaccuracies contained within Apple's Maps app for iOS 6. Maps lists Mildura in the middle of Murray-Sunset National Park, about 70km away from where it should be, and the police have had to rescue motorists that ended up in the wrong place — some stranded without food or water for 24 hours. Others were forced to walk "long distances through dangerous terrain" in order to get phone reception; since temperatures can reach up to 46° Celsius (115° Fahrenheit), the police have called it a "potentially life-threatening issue."

The shortcomings of Apple Maps are well-documented, and it's certainly not the first time mapping solutions have caused problems for hapless drivers. Still, the incident highlights that Apple's botched rollout could have more serious consequences than a mangled 3D model of the Brooklyn Bridge, particularly outside the US where data is even less comprehensive and accurate. Tim Cook recently said he's putting "the weight of the company behind" fixing the Maps app; Victoria Police are happy to help, too, and have notified Apple of the Mildura matter.

Update: According to The Guardian, Apple's map data has been updated to provide the correct location of Mildura. We have verified that the new information is in place, which will hopefully prevent any more reports of lost travellers. Apple has yet to issue a statement regarding the incident.