Teenager freezes to death after Google Maps provides wrong turn

Occurred: December 2020

Russian teenager Sergey Ustinov died in -50C temperature after Google Maps directed him down a short cut that transpired to be an infamous Siberian road known as the 'Road of Bones'.

Ustinov and a friend were driving from Yakutsk to the Pacific port of Magadan when Google Maps offered a shorter option of 1,733 km (1,076 miles) on the R504 Kolyma highway - also known as the Road of Bones. 

A policemen searching for the missing pair found that they had built fires to stay warm in temperatures plunging to -50C. Ustinov died, and his friend was close to death. Local people were apparently shocked that the two had no warm clothes between them for the Siberian winter. 

Google competitor Yandex Maps did not offer the same short-cut, raising questions about the safety of the former's system.

Operator: Sergey Ustinov
Developer: Alphabet/Google
Country: Russia
Sector: Travel/hospitality
Purpose: Direct drivers
Technology: Machine learning
Issue:  Accuracy/reliability
Transparency: Governance

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