Google has introduced a lot of new features and improvements to Google Maps in the past year, with features that aim to make travel convenient to a large number of people. Recently, it introduced three new public travel features in India that inform users about things like local bus, long-distance schedules, and a lot more. And today, after beta-testing the feature for a while, it has introduced a new ‘Stay Safer’ feature for all Android users in India.
Google has been testing the ‘Stay Safer’ feature for some time, and now it has finally arrived for users in India. In a nutshell, the feature will alert and notify users traveling in taxis, auto-rickshaws, or any other mode of public transport, when their vehicle goes off-route. In addition, it will also share the live status of their trips with friends/family so they can track their journey.
The feature is a pretty welcome change for people taking public transport to work or different places across the city during any hour of the day. As they no longer have to worry about their rides or have a constant check on their map to see whether the driver is on the correct route. They can now take a cab or any other public transport service and ignore any second thoughts that would otherwise cross their mind, either when traveling during an odd time of the day or when traveling to distant locations.
How to use the Stay Safer feature?
Make sure you have downloaded the latest version of Google Maps (v10.19.1 and higher). After a user searches for their destination and gets directions, they can enable the feature by selecting the ‘Stay Safer’ and ‘Get off-route alerts’ option. The option is available at the bottom right corner of the screen next to the Start navigation button. Now, at any point in the trip, if the driver deviates more than 0.5 km from the suggested Google Maps route, the phone will buzz with a prominent notification.
Users can then tap on this notification and compare their current route with the original. And if something feels unusual, they can choose to share the live trip with friends/family directly from the screen to inform them so they can keep track of the journey.
“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 another India-first feature that will deliver a more relevant and reliable experience to our users. Our new ‘Stay Safer’ feature on Google Maps will alert users who are traveling in taxis, auto-rickshaws etc. in case their vehicle goes off route, giving them peace of mind. At Google Maps, we are committed to helping make journeys safe and hassle-free and look forward to bringing more experiences like this to India and beyond.” – said Amanda Bishop, Product Manager, Google Maps, during the announcement.