After testing it for a while, Google has now rolled out the ‘Stay Safer' feature in India. This feature essentially looks to safeguard people while travelling through public transport. It will alert users when taxis, auto-rickshaws, and other public transport vehicles go off-route. The live status of your route will also be shared with friends and family. This feature is rolling out to Android users in India, and the users will need to update to the latest version of Google Maps to be able to use it.
Once you're on the latest version of Google Maps for Android, try searching for a destination and getting directions. A new button called ‘Stay Safer' should show up at the bottom of your screen. Tapping on the ‘Stay Safer' brings two new options called ‘get off-route alerts' and ‘share live trips'. If you activate the ‘get off-route alerts' option, the phone will buzz with a prominent notification if the driver deviates more than 0.5km from the Google Maps suggested route. Users can then tap to see where they are compared to the original route, and speak to the driver about the confusion in route.
Alternatively, the users can also choose to ‘share live trip' with friends and family directly from that screen so they know and can keep track of your journey as well, for added safety. The ‘share live trip' option lets you share your location on most social apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Slack, and also shows you often-contacted individuals. This feature was spotted in testing earlier this month. There is no word on when this feature will roll out for iOS users.
“Through our extensive research across India, we found that a lot of people limit their mobility due to safety-related concerns,” said Amanda Bishop, Product Manager, Google Maps, in a statement. “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.”