Photo Credit: XDA-Developers
Google has been adding a number of small, yet highly useful features in Google Maps recently. The search giant added SOS alerts, an on-screen speedometer, and three major new features for commuters in India including live train status. It's clear that Google Maps wants to become more than just an app that offers navigation services. Google has been spotted testing new feature in India that aims to ensure your safety while you're riding a taxi. Separately, the company has announced fresh traffic information is being implemented in 66 countries across the world.
The new feature quickly alerts you if your taxi goes off its usual route. Google Maps will serve an alert if your taxi is driven away from the intended route by 500 meters. The feature will also work when you're driving on your own, to ensure you don't go off route.
Google Maps' new feature is currently said to be available only in India only and was first spotted by the folks at XDA-Developers. The new feature can also be useful to ensure your taxi driver doesn't drive you around just to increase your overall fare.
To use the feature, set up navigation as you'd normally do on Google Maps by selecting your destination. Tap on the 'Stay safer' button at the bottom of the screen. You'll be presented with two options under the Stay Safer feature. These include sharing a live trip with your friends or getting off-route alerts.
Now Google Maps will track your current trip. While you're navigating, Google Maps will present a small banner at the top that says you'll receive an alert if your ride diverts by 500 meters. It's a useful feature especially if you're travelling around a new place.
Additionally, Google Maps is also getting fresh high-quality traffic information in several countries. 66 countries have received an updated traffic layer data which was previously set at 'not available in the area, or with low data quality or availability'. Dozens of countries, including India, have their speed limit data downgraded to 'not available in the area, or with low data quality or availability'.