Google, Apple, Microsoft, and different tech corporations have ignored suggestions from federal security authorities so as to add rail crossings to their respective digital maps, in line with a report in Politico. The preliminary request was made in 2016, after a commuter practice crashed right into a truck in California, killing an engineer and injuring dozens. But within the years since, the large map suppliers have did not take motion, the report states.
The inaction by tech corporations is angering security advocates, who be aware a whole lot of individuals die in collisions at rail crossings yearly within the US. Those crossings could possibly be made much less harmful if drivers might see them on the digital maps and GPS companies they more and more depend on to navigate the roads every single day.
The crash that spurred the decision for motion passed off February 24th, 2015, when an Amtrak practice smashed right into a truck in Oxnard, California. The practice derailed, killing the engineer and injuring 32 passengers. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board decided that the truck driver mistakenly turned onto the railroad’s right-of-way “due to acute fatigue and unfamiliarity with the area.”
As a end result, the NTSB issued a safety recommendation to the large tech corporations, in addition to different map and GPS suppliers like TomTom, Inrix, Garmin, MapQuest, Omnitracs, and UPS. The company directed these corporations to “[i]ncorporate grade crossing-related geographic data, such as those currently being prepared by the Federal Railroad Administration, into your navigation applications to provide road users with additional safety cues and to reduce the likelihood of crashes at or near public or private grade crossings.”
But since then, only a few have taken up the advice. Spokespeople for Apple, Google, and Microsoft didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. But in a 2017 reply to the unique request, Google stated it nervous about overwhelming its customers with an excessive amount of data.
“Our product teams carefully consider new safety features in the context of the holistic product experience and, in that way, seek to avoid evaluating individual features in isolation that could lead to overcrowding and create a sub-optimal experience for users,” the corporate wrote.
The solely different firm to answer to NTSB’s request, Dutch mapping agency TomTom, famous that it has included rail crossings in its maps for over a decade.