by Juliette Goodrich and Molly McCrea


(KPIX 5) — On or around April 6th, 2019, will your handy-dandy global positioning system (GPS) device be working properly?

Or, if you’re driving south on U.S. Highway 101, heading to your job in San Jose, will your GPS show your car is traveling to the Farallon Islands?

If you’re on a hike in the Coyote Hills, will your GPS device display that you are walking around at the Stanford Shopping Mall?

Here’s the deal: if your GPS begins to go a little haywire around this time, you may be experiencing what’s called “GPS Week Rollover Event.” The issue may remind us how much the world relies on GPS.

But, with the GPS rollover event, you may want to stash a few in your car. It’s the GPS version of a mini-Y2K. Devices at highest risk for failure include the older devices or the devices that have not been frequently updated.

The imminent system update has the attention of Brad Parkinson, a recalled emeritus Professor at Stanford University and best known as the lead architect, advocate, and developer of GPS.

“First of all, I would say it’s legitimate to be concerned,” said Parkinson.

The California resident is an engineer and an inventor, as well as a retired U.S. Air force colonel.

“GPS affects everything we do,” Parkinson told KPIX 5 in a recent interview at the Marines’ Memorial Club in San Francisco.

GPS is a network of 31 satellites owned by the U.S. government and operated by the Air Force. GPS provides many services for civilian uses, by providing location, and syncing up critical systems back on earth.

READ MORE ON CBSSF.COM

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