This doesn’t explain why Shanghaiist’s taxi driver the other night had never heard of “Xintiandi” — “I’m from Pudong” was his excuse — but it might explain why so many behind the wheel in Shanghai drive like assholes. They’re just angry, is all … because their car’s GPS navigation system uses a fake city map that is just plain wrong:
The government is aware of the problem but is at loss over how to handle it because there are no statutes on its books to deal with such a modern phenomena …
Although the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping granted eight companies the right to produce electronic navigation maps only six months ago the number of counterfeit, and misleading, maps exceed genuine ones.
The report did not make clear whether the companies themselves were to blame.
“Generally a GPS device costs about 10,000 yuan (1,233 dollars) but a fake one equipped with a counterfeit electric map can be available for several thousand yuan or even less,” said Benita Wei, from Shanghai Changxiang Computer Co, one of the eight companies producing maps.
In other transportation news, the city government plans to set up a centralized “intelligent transport information center” by the end of this year. That way commuters can get traffic reports for cars, buses, the subway and even our prized maglev train from one source. Currently, each mode of transport has its own information center. And by that magical year of 2010, Shanghai residents will be able to get traffic updates via text message on their mobile phones:
For example, if a visitor wants to travel from Yuyuan Garden to Lujiazui in Pudong, the future intelligent information center will tell him or her which means is the best: subway, bus or taxi depending on traffic along the route and crowding. By 2010, all of the city’s public buses and taxis will be equipped with GPS equipment so the center can track their location, direction of travel and speed, officials said.
“By that time, people will be able to quickly call a taxi over the telephone,” Cai said.
Life will be so much better in 2010! There is a rumor going around that by 2010 all Shanghai buildings will be made out of gum drops and chocolate will flow through Suzhou Creek! And we believe it, too — because in the year 2010, anything is possible!