New Delhi: Intending to keep users safe while they are riding in a taxi or driving by themselves, Google on Wednesday announced the roll-out of a new feature called “Stay Safer”, first in India. Google Maps is a web mapping service developed by Google. It offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360° panoramic views of streets (Street View), real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for travelling by foot, car, bicycle and air (in beta), or public transportation.
The new feature would alert Android users travelling in public vehicles if their drivers deviate more than 0.5 km from the suggested route on Google Maps.
The users’ phones would buzz with a prominent notification which they would be able to tap on and see where they are compared to the original route.
This Google Maps feature was necessitated by many media reports over the years since the arrival of radio taxis and taxi aggregator services that drivers of these cabs robbed their women passengers or sexually assaulted them.
“Through our extensive research across India, we found that a lot of people limit their mobility due to safety-related concerns. To address this, we are launching this India-first feature,” said Amanda Bishop, Product Manager, Google Maps.
The feature would also allow users to choose to share the live trip with friends and family directly from that screen so they know and can keep track of the journey.
Earlier in June, the feature was being tested exclusively in India.
For now, it remains unclear if users of Google Maps in other countries are also getting the “Stay Safer” feature or not.
Lately, Google has been updating Maps with a plethora of features including a speedometer and support for showing radar locations.
The company also launched three new public transport features including live train status, to help Map users in 10 of the largest cities in India to see bus travel times from live traffic, get live train status for Indian Railways and get mixed-mode commute suggestions that now combine auto-rickshaw and public transport.