Microsoft has been granted a Patent titled ‘Pedestrian route production‘ for its dynamic walking directions to assist pedestrians to navigate to their desired destination in a pedestrian-friendly, expeditious and safe way. It develops routes, mindful of unsafe crime infested neighbourhoods, harsh climates and other factors which could impact upon pedestrians.
It takes into account a number of variables when generating pedestrian routes, with the capability of dynamically change directions. It isn’t clear whether there will be any disclaimers for issuing bad directions, and whether consumers should be entitled to rely upon the accuracy of walking directions issued.
In 2009 Lauren Rosenburg was using Google’s walking map site for walking instructions on her trip in Park City, Utah. After being told by Google to “walk for about 1/2 mile along the calm-sounding “Deer Valley Drive”, she claimed she was led onto Utah State Route 224, a busy highway with no sidewalks and vehicles travelling at high speed. Rosenberg was severely injured when struck by a vehicle and sued both Google and the driver of the vehicle (Rosenberg v Harwood & Google)