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Seen & Heard: Driving blind and keeping ballots valid

July 4, 2023  - By

“Seen & Heard” is a monthly feature of GPS World magazine, traveling the world to capture interesting and unusual news stories involving the GNSS/PNT industry.

From paradise to panic… Or not

Tourists at the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, drove their car into the harbor after following directions on a mobile map application, and were surprised when the car filled with water, reported Insider and the Washington Post. A witness to the incident took a video showing two women in a Dodge Caravan driving “confidently” into the harbor. The witness also stated that the women were not panicked and were smiling as the car tipped forward into the water. The driver and passenger eventually climbed out of the car and were not injured in the incident. An information specialist for the Hawaii Department of Transportation stated that mobile mapping applications are inaccurate and tourists should always be aware of their surroundings.

Image: Lorado/E+/Getty Images

Image: Lorado/E+/Getty Images

Apple tags to the rescue again

New York City will give out free Apple AirTags to residents in an effort to stunt an increasing number of car thefts, reported the New York Post. A local nonprofit donated 500 AirTags to the city to be handed out to residents, especially those in New York Police Department’s (NYPD) 43rd Precinct in The Bronx. NYPD encourages drivers to purchase the device if they are not able to receive one from the city. An equitable distribution plan is being designed by the Crime Prevention Unit of NYPD’s Community Affairs Bureau. The city will also be fundraising to purchase more AirTags or similar devices.

Image: adamkaz/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Image: adamkaz/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Keeping ballots valid

The Ottawa County Clerk’s office in West Olive, Michigan, is using location data to track vital election data around the county in real time, reported KATV News Channel 7. Once the election machine scans the results of a ballot, the data is uploaded to a flash drive and sealed with a tabulator. Then, a bipartisan group of election workers places the flash drive in a sealed container with a GPS receiver and a radio transmitter that communicates the container’s location in real time to the county clerk’s office. Ottawa County Clerk, Justin Roebuck, believes the receivers add an extra layer of security and will instill faith in voters that nobody is tampering with their ballots.

Credit: vvectors/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Credit: vvectors/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Driving blind

GPS plays a quiet, but integral role in Formula 1 (F1) racing. In a sport where split-second reactions are vital, GPS helps drivers and their teams improve race to race and navigate tracks safely. The importance of live location data was seen in the opening practice session at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix FP1. A red flag was flown due to loss of location data triggered by a glitch in the distribution of live tire information. This caused several near-misses on the track because drivers no longer received traffic advisory calls from their teams, reported Autosport. It took more than nine minutes to restore the real-time location data.

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About the Author: Maddie Saines

Maddie was a managing editor at GPS World.