Google Maps removes 'Road of Bones' route after Russian driver freezes to death

WION Web Team
Yakutsk, Russia Published: Dec 13, 2020, 05.30 PM(IST)

Representative picture. Photograph:( Others )

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This incident has also given a boost to the debate of whether Google Maps can be trusted, or should Russians rely on the locally-based mapping service called Yandex

A few days ago, a Russian driver froze to death when his car broke down on an infamous road between the Yakutsk and Magadan cities. Following that, Google Maps has decided to make sure such an incident never happens again.

After an 18-year-old boy and his friend had gone missing, the local police searched the cold areas for almost a week and later found him stuck in his car which was covered in snow as the temperature had climbed down to -50 Celsius.

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The two friends were found on an infamous Road of Bones, which the locals claim is a dangerous and abandoned road in the area. As the driver froze to death, his passenger was rushed to the hospital and treated for frostbite who later explained how they got stuck and the radiator of their car had malfunctioned.

Since this incident, Google Maps has decided to remove the path from its system to avoid any such future incidents, especially in the winters. The approximate time shown between the two cold cities was usually 31 hours. However, after re-routing to avoid the dubbed 'Road of Bones', the approximate time taken to commute between the two cities has increased to 34 hours, adding three hours to the travel time.

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The decision has also been taken as the condition of the road becomes hazardous due to lack of snow clearing equipment and scarcity of traffic in the area during winters.

This incident has also given a boost to the debate of whether Google Maps can be trusted, or should Russians rely on the locally-based mapping service called Yandex. Many believe Yandex provides more local feed which enables locals to assess the risk and take reliable routes. Many locals took to social media platforms to complain about the lack of reliability in Google Maps.

However, some locals also argued for Google Maps claiming it might have been yet another case of teenagers trying their luck for the sake of extra risk and adventure.

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