Back in 2015, there was a fatal accident in which following directions from Google Maps, a truck driver by the name of Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez ended up being stuck on railroad tracks at a California crossing. While he made it out alive, the train ended up colliding into the truck and killed the engineer while injuring 32 others.
A report from the New York Times has stated that this was apparently due to Sanchez-Ramirez following the directions on Google Maps (an older report suggested that he was following directions off a printed Google Maps) that failed to take into account the crossing, thus leading to the accident. They also noted that this accident was just one of more than 200 fatalities that took place at a grade crossing in the US in 2015, and that this was the first time a navigation service, such as Google Maps, was to blame.
So much so that it seems that Apple and other tech companies that operate such services have agreed to add crossing data to their applications. The report mentions Apple and three other tech companies, but they did not mention any names. As for Google, the company has acknowledged the safety board’s recommendations and are looking at ways to add safety features.
No word on when these features are expected to be implemented or how they will be implemented, but until then perhaps you’ll want to be more careful if you’re heading down unfamiliar roads in the future.