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Re: This CarPlay GPS bug makes Apple Maps unusable and dangerous

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Alan Browne

Oct 16, 2023, 4:38:51 PM10/16/23
On 2023-10-16 15:32, Peter wrote:
> This CarPlay GPS bug makes Apple Maps unusable and dangerous
> Essentially, the GPS continually bugs out and completely breaks navigation
> via Apple Maps, Google Maps, or any other navigation app.
> Since last week's Happy Hour episode was released (listen here), I've heard
> from a lot of CarPlay users who are facing similar problems with GPS
> performance.
> The bug is simple: When connected via CarPlay, the GPS functionality is
> unreliable. This manifests itself in a handful of different ways:
> First, sometimes the GPS connection will totally freeze and stop updating.
> Second, the GPS location just freaks out, for lack of a better term. I'll
> be driving down the highway, then look over at CarPlay and see that CarPlay
> thinks I'm driving in the middle of a field. Or driving in a river. Or
> driving miles away from where I actually am at that moment.
> Third, sometimes the GPS location indicator switches to the big circle
> radius. CarPlay thinks I'm somewhere inside that circle, but it doesn't
> know exactly where. This breaks turn-by-turn directions.
> This problem has been plaguing my CarPlay experience for nearly a year
> Many of the complaints seem to correlate to last year's release of iOS 16,
> but the bugs have persisted since then - including with iOS 17. The
> problems don't appear to be linked to any specific iPhone model, with
> complaints coming from iPhone XS through iPhone 15 users alike.
> This is a really, really bad problem. One of the chief purposes of CarPlay
> is to provide accurate and reliable turn-by-turn navigation information.
> For many people, CarPlay is failing at this.
> It's also a dangerous problem.

No it isn't. See below.

> In the last two weeks, the CarPlay GPS has completely broken for me while
> driving in Dallas and Austin, leaving me in chaotic traffic with no
> directions on where to go or how to get to my destination.
> Hopefully, this post draws some attention and can force Apple's hand to
> actually address what seems to be a dangerous months-old CarPlay bug.

First off - CarPlay and/or navigation in a phone is not to be depended
on for safety. If it does not appear to be giving proper or sensible
data - do not heed it. It is an aide - not something you should
absolutely rely on. Have a plan before you leave.

Secondly - such bugs should be reported via the Apple site:
Where you report what happened, what device, what version of OS, etc.
and so on. You can upload as much info as you like.

I have no idea what the issue is above.

So ...

Things that affect GPS:

- poor antenna location.
- multipath (city "urban canyons").

- jamming (truck driver's use GPS jammers so their company can't track

-A funny thing about CarPlay - when you plug into the car's infotainment
system, iOS will find out if the car has its own GPS receiver. If it
does, then the car's GPS receiver's nav data is sent to the iOS device;
otherwise the iOS device's nav receivers are used. So there could be an
issue with _that_ GPS receiver and comms with the iOS device rather than

- The "large circle" is possibly when the iOS device is using the cell
network for positioning but not getting good signal and/or geometry.

The only issue I've had with CarPlay (or rather maps) is when it created
a bad destination for a particular address - real bad - end point was on
the freeway! That was fixed about 1 year ago.

But -in the end- it's not a "danger" - if you see it's not navigating
correctly, do not heed it. It is not "safety-of-life" rated stuff.

[1] Using my own GPS/computer rig (homegrown) I detected such an event
when a tow truck was servicing a car on the side of the highway. I had
the recording of the GPS satellite count plunging, SNR's plunging, loss
of position, etc. Then all comes back - all within about ±500m of the
tow truck and client. (99% sure it's the tow truck who had the jammer -
alas - I hadn't activated the jam warning message from the GPS or would
have more stuff on him).

“Markets can remain irrational longer than your can remain solvent.”
- John Maynard Keynes.
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