• GPS Jamming Tests Frustrate Pilots, Controllers (2/6)

    From Larry Dighera@21:1/5 to D-Lite on Tue Oct 12 08:08:57 2021
    [continued from previous message]

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    The military is jamming GPS signals to develop its own defenses against GPS jamming. Ironically, though, the Pentagon's efforts to safeguard its own
    troops and systems are putting the lives of civilian pilots, passengers, and crew at risk. In 2013, the military essentially admitted as much in a
    report, saying that “planned EA [electronic attack] testing occasionally
    causes interference to GPS based flight operations, and impacts the
    efficiency and economy of some aviation operations."

    In the early days of aviation, pilots would navigate using road maps in daylight and follow bonfires or searchlights after dark. By World War II,
    radio beacons had become common. From the late 1940s, ground stations began broadcasting omnidirectional VHF signals that planes could lock on to, while shorter-range systems indicated safe glide slopes to help pilots land. At
    their peak, in 2000, there were more than a thousand very high frequency
    (VHF) navigation stations in the United States. However, in areas with
    widely spaced stations, pilots were forced to take zigzag routes from one station to the next, and reception of the VHF signals could be hampered by nearby buildings and hills.

    Everything changed with the advent of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), first devised by the U.S. military in the 1960s. The arrival in the mid-1990s of the civilian version of the technology, called the Global Positioning System, meant that aircraft could navigate by satellite and take direct routes from point to point; GPS location and altitude data was also accurate enough to help them land.

    The FAA is about halfway through its NextGen effort, which is intended to
    make flying safer and more efficient through a wholesale switch from ground-based navigation aids like radio beacons to a primarily satellite-enabled navigation system. Along with that switch, the agency
    began decommissioning VHF navigation stations a decade ago. The United
    States is now well on its way to having a minimal backup network of fewer
    than 600 ground stations.

    Meanwhile, the reliance on GPS is changing the practice of flying and the habits of pilots. As GPS receivers have become cheaper, smaller, and more capable, they have become more common and more widely integrated. Most airplanes must now carry Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) transponders, which use GPS to calculate and broadcast their altitude,
    heading, and speed. Private pilots use digital charts on tablet computers, while GPS data underpins autopilot and flight-management computers. Pilots should theoretically still be able to navigate, fly, and land without any
    GPS assistance at all, using legacy radio systems and visual aids.
    Commercial airlines, in particular, have a range of backup technologies at their disposal. But because GPS is so widespread and reliable, pilots are in danger of forgetting these manual techniques.

    When an Airbus passenger jet suddenly lost GPS near Salt Lake City in June 2019, its pilot suffered “a fair amount of confusion," according to the
    pilot's ASRS report. “To say that my raw data navigation skills were lacking
    is an understatement! I've never done it on the Airbus and can't remember having done it in 25 years or more."

    “I don't blame pilots for getting a little addicted to GPS," says Todd E. ­Humphreys, director of the Radionavigation Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. “When something works well 99.99 percent of the time,
    humans don't do well in being vigilant for that 0.01 percent of the time
    that it doesn't."

    Losing GPS completely is not the worst that can happen. It is far more dangerous when accurate GPS data is quietly replaced by misleading
    information. The ASRS database contains many accounts of pilots belatedly realizing that GPS-enabled autopilots had taken them many kilometers in the wrong direction, into forbidden military areas, or dangerously close to
    other aircraft.

    In December 2012, an air traffic controller noticed that a westbound
    passenger jet near Reno, Nev., had veered 16 kilometers (10 miles) off
    course. The controller confirmed that military GPS jamming was to blame and gave new directions, but later noted: “If the pilot would have noticed they were off course before I did and corrected the course, it would have caused [the] aircraft to turn right into [an] opposite direction, eastbound [jet]."

    So why is the military interfering so regularly with such a safety-critical system? Although most GPS receivers today are found in consumer smartphones, GPS was designed by the U.S. military, for the U.S. military. The Pentagon depends heavily on GPS to locate and navigate its aircraft, ships, tanks,
    and troops.

    The U.S. military routinely jams GPS signals over wide areas on an almost
    daily basis
    For such a vital resource, GPS is exceedingly vulnerable to attack. By the
    time GPS signals reach the ground, they are so faint they can be easily
    drowned out by interference, whether accidental or malicious. Building a
    basic electronic warfare setup to disrupt these weak signals is trivially
    easy, says Humphreys: “Detune the oscillator in a microwave oven and you've
    got a superpowerful jammer that works over many kilometers." Illegal GPS jamming devices are widely available on the black market, some of them
    marketed to professional drivers who may want to avoid being tracked while working.

    Other GNSS systems, such as Russia's GLONASS, China's BeiDou, and Europe's Galileo constellations, use slightly different frequencies but have similar vulnerabilities, depending on exactly who is conducting the test or attack.
    In China, mysterious attacks have successfully “spoofed" ships with GPS receivers toward fake locations, while vessels relying on BeiDou reportedly remain unaffected. Similarly, GPS signals are regularly jammed in the
    eastern Mediterranean, Norway, and Finland, while the Galileo system is untargeted in the same attacks.

    The Pentagon uses its more remote military bases, many in the American West,
    to test how its forces operate under GPS denial, and presumably to develop
    its own electronic warfare systems and countermeasures. The United States
    has carried out experiments in spoofing GPS signals on at least one
    occasion, during which it was reported to have taken great care not to
    affect civilian aircraft.

    Despite this, many ASRS reports record GPS units delivering incorrect
    positions rather than failing altogether, but this can also happen when the satellite signals are degraded. Whatever the nature of its tests, the military's GPS jamming can end up disrupting service for civilian users, particularly high-altitude commercial aircraft, even at a considerable distance.

    The military issues Notices to Airmen (NOTAM) to warn pilots of upcoming
    tests. Many of these notices cover hundreds of thousands of square
    kilometers. There have been notices that warn of GPS disruption over all of Texas or even the entire American Southwest. Such a notice doesn't mean that GPS service will be disrupted throughout the area, only that it might be disrupted. And that uncertainty creates its own problems.

    In 2017, the FAA commissioned the nonprofit Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics to look into the effects of intentional GPS interference on civilian aircraft. Its report, issued the following year by the RTCA's GPS Interference Task Group, found that the number of military GPS tests had
    almost tripled from 2012 to 2017. Unsurprisingly, ASRS safety reports referencing GPS jamming are also on the rise. There were 38 such ASRS narratives in 2019—nearly a tenfold increase over 2018.

    Chart describing GPS Problems.
    New internal FAA materials obtained by Spectrum from a member of the task
    group and not previously made public indicate that the ASRS accounts
    represent only the tip of the iceberg. The FAA data consists of pilots'
    reports of GPS interference to the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center, one of 22 air traffic control centers in the United States.
    Controllers there oversee air traffic across central and Southern
    California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, western Arizona, and
    portions of the Pacific Ocean—areas heavily affected by military GPS

    This data includes 173 instances of lost or intermittent GPS during a
    six-month period of 2017 and another 60 over two months in early 2018. These reports are less detailed than those in the ASRS database, but they show aircraft flying off course, accidentally entering military airspace, being unable to maneuver, and losing their ability to navigate when close to other aircraft. Many pilots required the assistance of air traffic control to continue their flights. The affected aircraft included a pet rescue shuttle,
    a hot-air balloon, multiple medical flights, and many private planes and passenger jets.

    In at least a handful of episodes, the loss of GPS was deemed an emergency. Pilots of five aircraft, including a Southwest Airlines flight from Las
    Vegas to
    Chicago, invoked the “stop buzzer," a request routed through air traffic control for the military to immediately cease jamming. According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, pilots must use this phrase only
    when a safety-of-flight issue is encountered.

    To be sure, many other instances in the FAA data were benign. In early March 2017, for example, Jim Yoder was flying a Cessna jet owned by entrepreneur
    and space tourist Dennis Tito between Las Vegas and Palm Springs, Calif.,
    when both onboard GPS devices were jammed. “This is the only time I've ever
    had GPS go out, and it was interesting because I hadn't thought about it
    really much," Yoder told Spectrum. “I asked air traffic control what was
    going on and they were like, 'I don't really know.' But we didn't lose our ability to navigate, and I don't think we ever got off course."

    Indeed, one of the RTCA task group's conclusions was that the Notice to
    Airmen system was part of the problem: Most pilots who fly through affected areas experience no ill effects, causing some to simply ignore such warnings
    in the future.

    “We call the NOTAMs 'Chicken Little,' " says Rune Duke, who was cochair of
    the RTCA's task group. “They say the sky is falling over large areas…and
    it's not realistic. There are mountains and all kinds of things that would prevent GPS interference from making it 500 nautical miles [926 km] from
    where it is initiated."

    GPS interference can be affected by the terrain, aircraft altitude and attitude, direction of flight, angle to and distance from the center of the interference, equipment aboard the plane, and many other factors, concluded
    the task group, which included representatives of the FAA, airlines, pilots, aircraft manufacturers, and the U.S. military. One aircraft could lose all
    GPS reception, even as another one nearby is completely unaffected. One military test might pass unnoticed while another causes chaos in the skies.

    This unreliability has consequences. In 2014, a passenger plane approaching
    El Paso had to abort its landing after losing GPS reception. “This is the
    first time in my flying career that I have experienced or even heard of GPS signal jamming," wrote the pilot in an ASRS report. “Although it was in the NOTAMs, it still caught us by surprise as we really did not expect to lose
    all GPS signals at any point. It was a good thing the weather was good or
    this could have become a real issue."

    Sometimes air traffic controllers are as much in the dark as pilots. “They
    are the last line of defense," Duke told Spectrum. “And in many cases, air traffic control was not even aware of the GPS interference taking place."

    The RTCA report made many recommendations. The Department of Defense could improve coordination with the FAA, and it could refrain from testing GPS
    during periods of high air traffic. The FAA could overhaul its data
    collection and analysis, match anecdotal reports with digital data, and
    improve documentation of adverse events. The NOTAM system could be made
    easier to interpret, with warnings that more accurately match the
    experiences of pilots and controllers.

    One aircraft could lose all GPS reception, even as another one nearby is completely unaffected.
    Remarkably, until the report came out, the FAA had been instructing pilots
    to report GPS anomalies only when they needed assistance from air traffic control. “The data has been somewhat of a challenge because we've somewhat discouraged reporting," says Duke. “This has led the FAA to believe it's not been such a problem."

    NOTAMs now encourage pilots to report all GPS interference, but many of the RTCA's other recommendations are languishing within the Office of Accident Investigation and Prevention at the FAA.

    New developments are making the problem worse. The NextGen project is accelerating the move of commercial aviation to satellite-enabled
    navigation. Emerging autonomous air systems, such as drones and air taxis,
    will put even more weight on GPS's shaky shoulders.

    When any new aircraft is adopted, it risks posing new challenges to the
    system. The Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300, for instance, entered service in
    2009 and has since become the world's best-selling light jet. In 2016, the
    FAA warned that if the Phenom 300 encountered an unreliable or unavailable
    GPS signal, it could enter a Dutch roll (named for a Dutch skating
    technique), a dangerous combination of wagging and rocking that could cause pilots to lose control. The FAA instructed Phenom 300 owners to avoid all
    areas of GPS interference. Embraer said that it fixed the issue in 2017.

    As GPS assumes an ever more prominent role, the military is naturally taking
    a stronger interest in it. “Year over year, the military's need for GPS interference-event testing has increased," says Duke. “There was an increase again in 2019, partly because of counter-UAS [drone] activity. And they're
    now doing GPS interference where they previously had not, like Michigan, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas, because it adds to the realism of any type of military training."

    So there are ever more GPS-jamming tests, more aircraft navigating by satellite, and more pilots utterly reliant on GPS. It is a feedback loop,
    and it constantly raises the chances that one of these near misses and stop buzzers will end in catastrophe.

    When asked to comment, the FAA said it has established a resilient
    navigation and surveillance infrastructure to enable aircraft to continue
    safe operations during a GPS outage, including radio beacons and radars. It also noted that it and other agencies are working to create a long-term GPS backup solution that will provide position, navigation, and ­timing—again,
    to minimize the effects of a loss of GPS.

    However, in a report to Congress in April 2020, the agency coordinating this effort, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, wrote: “DHS recommends
    that responsibility for mitigating temporary GPS outages be the
    responsibility of the individual user and not the responsibility of the
    Federal Government." In short, the problem of GPS interference is not going away.

    In September 2019, the pilot of a small business jet reported experienced jamming on a flight into New Mexico. He could hear that aircraft all around
    him were also affected, with some being forced to descend for safety. “Since the FAA is deprecating [ground-based radio aids], we are becoming dependent upon an unreliable navigation system," wrote the pilot upon landing. “This extremely frequent [interference with] critical GPS navigation is a
    significant threat to aviation safety. This jamming has to end."

    The same pilot was jammed again on his way home.

    This article appears in the February 2021 print issue as “Lost in Airspace."

    This article was updated on 26 January 2021.

    FAA Fumbled Its Response To a Surge in GPS Jamming ›
    Protecting GPS From Spoofers Is Critical to the Future of Navigation - IEEE Spectrum ›
    Mark Harris
    is an investigative science and technology reporter based in Seattle, with a particular interest in robotics, transportation, green technologies, and medical devices.

    FAA Fumbled Its Response To a Surge in GPS Jamming Confusion over stopping military tests had flight controllers fuming MARK HARRIS07 OCT 20213 MIN
    Air traffic controllers in a control tower monitoring the airfield. ETHAMPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

    FAA air traffic controllers supervising flights over Arizona, New Mexico and Texas were confused and frustrated by an increase in military tests that interfered with GPS signals for civilian aircraft, public records show.

    In March and April this year, flight controllers at the Albuquerque Air
    Route Traffic Control Center filed reports on NASA's Aviation Safety
    Reporting System (ASRS), a forum where aviation professionals can
    anonymously share near misses and safety tips.

    Keep Reading ? -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    December 1, 2017 by Brian Benchoff 67 Comments
    GPS jammers are easily available on the Internet. No, we’re not linking to them. Nevertheless, GPS jammers are frequently used by truck drivers and
    other people with a company car that don’t want their employer tracking
    their every movement. Do these devices work? Are they worth the $25 it costs
    to buy one? That’s what [phasenoise] wanted to find out.

    These tiny little self-contained boxes spew RF at around 1575.42 MHz, the
    same frequency used by GPS satellites in high Earth orbit. Those signals
    coming from GPS satellites are very, very weak, and it’s relatively easy to overpower them with noise. That’s pretty much the block diagram for these
    cheap GPS jammers — put some noise on the right frequency, and your phone or your boss’s GPS tracker simply won’t function. Note that this is a very low-tech attack; far more sophisticated GPS jamming and spoofing techniques
    can theoretically land a drone safely. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93U.S._RQ-170_incident>

    [phasenoise]’s teardown of the GPS jammer he found on unmentionable websites shows the device is incredibly simple. There are a few 555s in there
    creating low-frequency noise. This feeds a VCO with a range of between 1466-1590 MHz. The output of the VCO is then sent to a big ‘ol RF transistor for amplification and out through a quarter wave antenna. It may be RF wizardry, but this is a very simple circuit.

    The output of this circuit was measured, and to the surprise of many, there were no spurious emissions or harmonics — this jammer will not disable your cellphone or your WiFi, only your GPS. The range of this device is estimated
    at 15-30 meters in the open, which is good enough if you’re a trucker. In
    the canyons of skyscrapers, this range could extend to hundreds of meters.

    It should be said again that you should not buy or use a GPS jammer. Just
    don’t do it. If you need to build one, though, they’re pretty easy to design
    as [phasenoise]’s teardown demonstrates.

    Posted in Teardown
    Tagged gps, GPS jammer, jammer, teardown

    Megol says:
    December 1, 2017 at 4:24 am
    One would think that someone would create a jammer for this specific
    purpose. One that is directed and have a maximum range of a few meters at

    Report comment
    natsfr says:
    December 1, 2017 at 4:33 am
    You can find the same kind of schematic in a GSM jammer. A basic NE555 or uC
    is used to generate a sawtooth, it’s then fed to a VCO. http://wiki.rfporn.org/lib/exe/detail.php?id=wiki%3Ahardware_porn%3Acheap_gsm_jammer&media=wiki:hardware_porn:picture:20151005_130434.jpg

    Report comment
    natsfr says:
    December 1, 2017 at 4:34 am
    I’m not sure why links are not working… http://wiki.rfporn.org/lib/exe/detail.php?id=wiki%3Ahardware_porn%3Acheap_gsm_jammer&media=wiki:hardware_porn:picture:20151005_130434.jpg

    Report comment
    bentwookiee says:
    December 1, 2017 at 6:44 am
    The links are there, but I think the text is being blocked because of the
    NSFW wording of the URL.

    Report comment
    Elliot Williams says:
    December 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm
    Confirmed. That’s funny.

    Report comment
    Sheldon says:
    December 1, 2017 at 4:47 am
    Given the power levels of things like this jammer are way more than the
    signal levels that a GPS receiver would ever expect, I’m surprised that they (the devices) couldn’t ‘self-diagnose’ that they were being jammed.
    Okay, they can’t do anything about it but at least logging it (plus, where
    it last known location and how long it lasted for) could highlight anything suspicious/nefarious going on.

    Report comment
    D-Lite says:
    December 1, 2017 at 5:06 am
    I’m surprised that they (the devices) couldn’t ‘self-diagnose’ that they were being jammed.

    They can :) See e.g. http://www.gpsbusinessnews.com/u-blox-6-GPS-Firmware-Gets-Better-Sensitivity-Jamming-Detection_a3151.html

    Report comment
    WeirdScience06 (@WeirdScience06) says:
    December 1, 2017 at 4:49 am
    Strangely in the UK these devices are legal to buy but not to use or sell, unless they closed the loophole

    Report comment
    JDX says:
    December 1, 2017 at 7:14 am
    Seems like proper policy to me. It remains legal to purchase one, reverse-engineer it, and develop countermeasures.

    Report comment
    noblea149 says:
    December 1, 2017 at 4:51 am
    Considering the GPS signals are so weak would it not be possible to
    passively block them with something like a little Faraday Cage? That way you are not disrupting any near by GPS devices that are not your intended

    On the more advance GPS spoofing attacks, a team of students a few years ago demonstrated that you can make a ship think it’s in a completely different position to where it actually is with out raising any alarms on the bridge.
    In this case it was a luxury yacht and just a demonstration but the
    potential of such an attack method is quite scary. For example you could
    spoof an oil tanker to thinking it was 50km away from a dangerous reef when actually its been steered directly on to it and if you are a pirate with the right resources you could steer a ship towards an ambush.

    Doing a little research before posting this it would seem someone is already testing a system in the Black Sea: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2143499-ships-fooled-in-gps-spoofing-attack-suggest-russian-cyberweapon/

    Story about students hacking Ship GPS: https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/07/31/80-million-yacht-hijacked-by-students-spoofing-gps-signals/

    Report comment
    bentwookiee says:
    December 1, 2017 at 6:46 am
    Yes it is possible :) http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/a13953308/electrician-turned-chip-bag-into-faraday-cage/

    Report comment
    AKA the A says:
    December 1, 2017 at 7:33 am
    If you think this is scary, you probably should know that ADS-B, which is
    used as “secondary radar” for civil air traffic is completely open to
    spoofing and has no verification whatsoever on who’s actually transmitting
    what information…

    Furthermore, Airbus and Eurocopter have the collision detection systems connected with ADS-B and if on autopilot and with no pilot action despite
    the alarms, it will actually change course in order to avoid collision. Needless to say that high rise buildings do not have collision avoidance systems, so it probably is possible to steer a jetliner into one without
    being on the plane or doing any modifications to it.

    Report comment
    Whatnot says:
    December 1, 2017 at 7:44 am
    Or instead of boosting the signal with that power transistor simply connect
    the output to the antenna, or right next to it a few millimeter away.

    Report comment
    Greenaum says:
    December 1, 2017 at 10:08 pm
    No, that was James Bond in “Tomorrow Never Dies”.

    Report comment
    dave says:
    December 1, 2017 at 4:57 am
    If GPS satnavs weren’t avilable it would certainly improve driving
    People might plan ahead and read the 50ft tall junction signs than rely on a little box and swerve across traffic at the last possible moment without thought for anyone behind them.

    If people cannot function at all without technology to do it for them, more fool them.

    Report comment
    Max Siegieda (@CampGareth) says:
    December 1, 2017 at 5:13 am
    I think you’ll find we had bad drivers before GPS systems. In fact the
    average fatalities per capita are lower now than they were in 1921. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year

    Report comment
    RunnerPack says:
    December 1, 2017 at 5:20 am
    But is that due to better drivers, or to cars that aren’t made mostly of
    wood, cast iron, and plate glass?

    Report comment
    David says:
    December 1, 2017 at 6:46 am
    I guess it’s a little bit of A and a little bit of B. Cars are also a lot easier to drive, roads are built with some safety standards, people are
    better drivers due to the fact that cars are an everyday thing now and yes, cars are not death traps anymore.

    Report comment
    Pirate Labs says:
    December 1, 2017 at 7:21 am
    Good question.

    Report comment
    dave says:
    December 1, 2017 at 7:59 am
    Seatbelts. Airbags. Deforming bodyshells. ABS. and so on…

    It’s commonly found that devices in the car distracting people from the road are a major cause of accidents.
    That has gone up with time and gadgets massively.
    Fines and loss of license from using portable devices is rocketing in the

    Ever seen someone on their mobile phone in traffic using the car’s collision avoidance features to keep crawling along while they text? Look for it. It’s happening more and more.

    Google, Apple et al are making facial recognition for the front camera, why
    the hell are they not stopping them from working when people are driving and holding/looking at them?
    It wouldn’t be hard.
    Front cam sees face looking up and down constantly with a pattern akin to driving distracted.
    Back cam sees steering wheel, car cockpit.
    GPS sees movement and location.
    Put it all together. Lock phone for 10mins as punishment except emergency calls.
    Keep upping the time if it happens again.
    People would get the lesson fast.

    Change the law so the makers are legally responsible for the use and can be sued for injuries by 3rd parties.
    Watch it get implemented in days.

    Report comment
    Code and Solder says:
    December 1, 2017 at 12:15 pm
    I totall agree, this would mean finally mainstream adoption of open source ROMs!

    Report comment
    Luke says:
    December 1, 2017 at 9:03 pm
    The real reason – perpetual traffic jams forcing cars to drive slower. Seriously. The number of cars on the roads have increased faster in the last
    40 years than the number of highway lanes to drive on. Traffic speeds in
    most NA cities are slower than back then as a result. Slower traffic = fewer accidents and less severe accidents. Weekend driving, with fewer traffic tie-ups, results in more accidents and higher death/injury rates. Forget the ABS/airbags/etc. Speed kills now and in the past. We are experiencing lower speeds on the average (over 25 year period ending about a decade ago, L.A.
    saw a 30% drop in rush hour speed).

    Report comment
    Greenaum says:
    December 1, 2017 at 10:14 pm
    Since most phones have GPS, and all can be triangulated from base stations,
    it wouldn’t be hard for a phone’s OS to disable it, if it detected it was moving above, say, 5mph. You could probably do 5mph on foot but it wouldn’t
    be safe to use your phone anyway.

    AFAIK 4G relies on triangulating a phone’s location. So it’s probably just a couple of lines of code.

    On the other issue though, yep, there is far far far too much distracting
    crap in cars these days.

    Maybe for people who are particularly independence-minded, you can set the phone to still work while you’re moving, but it disables the airbags.

    Report comment
    Alex Rich says:
    December 1, 2017 at 6:46 am
    Yeah 1921 would not be a good year to compare to, too many other variables
    have changed. However you could compare it to like 2000 or something, I was still using Mapquest at the point I’m pretty sure. And that can’t be safer
    than GPS because it can’t dictate the turns to me.

    Report comment
    sneakypoo says:
    December 1, 2017 at 5:22 am
    Preeetty sure people swerve like idiots without GPS… Personally I would be f-cked without GPS. My brain is broken when it comes to having a sense of direction so GPS is my saviour (just need it for indoors as well). And I
    find that I plan even more in advance with it. I keep a close eye on how far
    I need to go before the next turn/lane change and make sure I’ve done it
    waaay ahead of time because I’m “afraid” of being stuck in the wrong lane
    and get lost…

    Report comment
    TacticalNinja says:
    December 1, 2017 at 6:29 am
    This. Although I don’t rely on it turn-by-turn, it forces me to plan ahead rather than risk turning way too late. Street signs are not very well maintained where I live.

    Report comment
    John says:
    December 1, 2017 at 6:28 am
    “If GPS satnavs weren’t avilable it would certainly improve driving

    Yes indeed. Gone would be the inconsiderate drivers, because they would be mostly dead after crashing while trying to read a map. or to look for a
    house number. Lets hope this doesn’t happen to be where you are standing..

    “People might plan ahead and read the 50ft tall junction signs than rely on
    a little box and swerve across traffic at the last possible moment without thought for anyone behind them.”

    Or..they might be the exact same kind of drivers, without GPS as they are
    with one less thing to occupy their attention..

    “If people cannot function at all without technology to do it for them, more fool them.”

    If people blame technology for ignorance and indifference in others, more
    fool them.

    GPS is a tool.
    The internet is a tool.
    A smartphone is a tool.

    And sadly.. so are you.

    Report comment
    dave says:
    December 1, 2017 at 8:09 am
    In the old days of maps if you missed the junction because you weren’t
    paying attention you’d more than likely drive on to the next one.
    Now you’ve got a little box that tells you you are going to miss it. So jam
    on the brakes and take that exit.
    Or worse, back up because it tells you that it’s a 20mile detour so
    reversing will save you time.

    Yes, GPS doesn’t make fuckwits any more inconsiderate. It just enables them
    a lot more to be that way.
    Because some people rely on it to replace what they themselves should be
    doing: paying attention, reading the road, etc.
    Some people will blindly follow their satnav into the sea – read the news at all ??

    If you cannot fathom how technology is enabling people to be more ignorant
    and less considerate then sorry chap the ignorance lies with your good self.

    Report comment
    Alex Rich says:
    December 1, 2017 at 6:41 am
    I wonder what the net effect of GPS navigation is on overall car emissions.

    On the one hand, it makes routes more efficient and reduces wrong turns,
    etc. I remember days when you’d miss a highway exit, if you didn’t know the mile marker you could drive for 20 miles before realizing it.

    On the other hand, people are more confident to jump in their car and drive somewhere unfamiliar, so maybe it has added trips that otherwise wouldn’t
    have happened.

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    Steven-X says:
    December 1, 2017 at 7:23 am

    [continued in next message]

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)