One cannot help but imagine the machines are laughing

It can only be a matter of time before a coroner records a verdict of death by satellite navigation.

Downtime has previously documented examples of drivers happy to trust the directions of their satnav devices over the evidence of their senses. Most notable was the case of the Polish man who drove his car into a lake and had to be towed out, earning himself the nickname “Moses” – found, as he was, among the reeds.

This week, however, the long arm of the law has intervened. A Doncaster man, who tried to drive his £30,000 BMW Series 5 off a cliff because the satnav told him to, has been found guilty of driving without due care and attention.

Downtime considers the charge something of an understatement: the court heard how Robert Jones swerved his car off the road and up a narrow footpath at his satnav’s insistence, only stopping when he went through a fence, leaving the Beemer teetering over the edge of a precipice.

As one local witness commented: “It was like The Italian Job.”