A Computer Glitch Could Cause GPS Units To CRASH This Week

Apr 3, 2019


Manufacturers are warning customers that a Y2K-style glitch could cause GPS units to crash this week.

Calendars on GPS units are due to reset on 6 April.

Adelaide Techguy Richard Pascoe told FIVEaa’s Alan Hickey on Wednesday:

“I did some research into this because I thought it was a bit of a joke, but it turns out it was true. I’ve had three emails today from people who’ve suddenly got advised by the makers of their GPS that they might be in a bit of trouble.

“So after April 6 your GPS may grind to a halt…

“GPS signals include a timestamp and part of the timestamp is a week number that is stored in 10 binary bits. 10 bits allows it to store 1,024 weeks before it resets, which means the reset happens roughly every 20 years -- that’s April 6. We’re up to 20 years, which means GPS devices that haven’t had an update or reset may just stop working.

“Please, people, don’t ignore -- I know emails are going out from the GPS makers right now saying make sure that you update your GPS. You download a file, plug it into the computer and make sure it’s updated.

“I think it is quite a serious issue. I think this could be a big news story.”

Last month the vice president of Trend Micro reportedly said he would not fly on 6 April because he believed the fallout of the GPS reset could be more serious than Y2K.