When it comes to making India more safe for women and people in general, many initiatives have been taken by several companies and the government. For instance, Ola, an Indian ride hailing app released its SOS feature that lets you call emergency services if you’re stuck in a dangerous situation while traveling. Similarly, there’s a slew of other apps that promote safe travel. And now, Google has unveiled an India-first ‘stay safer’ feature in Google Maps that would alert Android users if their driver deviates more than 0.5 km from the route suggested by Google Maps. This is great for people traveling via public transport such as bus and auto-rickshaw.
To avail the feature, you’d have to get the latest version of Google Maps on your Android device by updating the app. Also, to enable the feature, you’d have to select the “Stay Safer” and “get off-route alerts” options after you’re done looking up the direction of your destination on the maps. In case the driver deviates from the suggested direction, the phone would buzz with a notification that the users would be able to tap and see the original route.
“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,” said Amanda Bishop, Product Manager, Google Maps.
You’d also be able to share the live status of your trip with family/friends across different apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Slack. No word is out yet as to when the feature would roll out for iOS users but given that Google Maps are used extensively across the world on both Android and iOS devices, we can expect it to arrive soon.