exploit the possibilities

microsoft.autoroute.express.2000.txt

microsoft.autoroute.express.2000.txt
Posted Aug 17, 1999

Bug in Microsoft AutoRoute Express 2000 results in incorrect calculations of travel diatances. No fix available yet.

tags | exploit
MD5 | d94eaec2998349a50f8dd35b3735862f

microsoft.autoroute.express.2000.txt

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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 12:25:21 +0100 (BST)
>From: Pete Mellor <pm@csr.city.ac.uk>
Subject: MS AutoRoute Express 2000

The following is taken from the BBC Watchdog web pages
(www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog). I would like to thank Gordon Brown
<gordon@jdc-etype.demon.co.uk> for passing it to one of my colleagues.

AutoRoute Express 2000 Weekend Watchdog 07.05.99

In February, Microsoft launched the new AutoRoute Express 2000 journey
planner. By entering the details of any journey you want to make, it will
show you the best roads to use and calculates how long the drive will
take. It predicts possible hold ups and even recommends scenic spots on the
way. Now Microsoft has admitted to Weekend Watchdog that Autoroute's
directions could cause drivers to make unnecessary detours that add miles to
their trips.

Richard Emery, a logistical planner from Bracknell, advises companies on the
best routes for moving their goods. It literally pays Richard to know the
quickest way from A to B.

Using Autoroute Express 2000, Richard planned a trip from his home to a
charity office in Llanelli in South Wales. He knew it was a long way but was
not sure how long it would take. The software came up with what appeared to
be a good set of clear directions, providing almost door to door road names,
and said that the journey should take 2 hours and 36 minutes. Then Richard
programmed in two 10 minute service station breaks. The journey suddenly
changed from 169 to 185 miles, and the time taken increased by 1 hour and 3
minutes.

Richard demonstrated the problem to Weekend Watchdog with a real journey
>from Swindon to Reading.

Autoroute Express 2000 says it is a distance of 49.3 miles and, without a
coffee break, should take 51 minutes along the M4. Richard then programmed
in a 10 minute stop at Membury Services, almost half way between Swindon and
Reading on the motorway. Autoroute changed a 30 second round trip into a 33
minute drive through the countryside. The software ignores the fact that
most service areas are connected to the motorway, and works out a route via
junctions and A roads to the back of the service station.

Richard has discovered that this is the case with routes all over
England. For example, London to Nottingham, 127 miles with two short coffee
breaks according to AutoRoute, will take 3 hours and 15 minutes. That
leaves 1 hour and 5 minutes to get coffee.

Microsoft says it's very sorry Richard Emery has experienced such problems
with Autoroute Express 2000. It says that it is "committed to resolving
these issues in the next version of the product". The company has set up an
Autoroute Express 2000 Hotline on 0345 002000, which is open until 10pm on
May 7th and between 9-5pm from then on.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/stories/autorout.shtml

Peter Mellor, Centre for Software Reliability, City University, Northampton
Square, London EC1V 0HB, UK. Tel: +44 (171) 477-8422, p.mellor@csr.city.ac.uk

[Risks Digest 20.39]

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