Google Maps introduce a new ‘Stay Safer’ feature in India. All the Android/ios users can avail the feature through the latest version of Google Maps. This new feature will alert and notify users travelling in taxis and auto-rickshaws when their vehicle goes off-route. This initiative by the Google company for their Indian users will be more beneficial for women commuters as they often restrain themselves from taking cab/rickshaw, especially at night. This feature will also allow the users to share their live location and route with their family and friends.
Google’s Official Statement
In an official press release, Google Maps Product Manager Amanda Bishop said, “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.” Further adding to this Amanda said, “The company is committed to bringing more experiences like this to India and beyond.”
Google Maps have introduced 3 more new features this month to facilitate the commuters who heavily rely on public transport. One of the three features includes ‘checking the real-time status for long-distance trains’. It was built in association with “Where is My Train app.” The other two features are – ‘telling a commuter the approximate time it will take for a bus trip’ and ‘direction results for journeys that combine mixed mode of transport like auto-rickshaw and other public transports.’
How To Use This Feature?
This new feature will be available on your Android devices with the latest version of Google Maps. After taking a cab or rickshaw the commuters can on the “Get off-route alerts” option in their phones. You will get a notification if the driver deviates more than 0.5km from the Google Map’s suggested route. The users can also choose to share a live trip with friends and family directly from that screen. Now they can also keep a track of the journey.
Earlier it was difficult to call out the driver, especially an auto rickshaw driver when they deviated from the route. Even the commuters aren’t well aware of routes. This will be a beneficial feature for all the women commuters as we have heard of harassment and kidnapping cases by cab and auto drivers.
Read Also: How Safe Do Bangalore Women Feel In App-Based Cabs?
The Reaction Of Female Commuters
“I think it’s a very helpful initiative by Google as we can know when the driver is using a different path. Especially in autos, where there’s no tracking device, you don’t know where you are heading. You have to rely on the autowala and hope he’s really taking a short cut and not kidnapping you. But now even you can know whether he’s taking you through right route or not,” Said Samridhi Khandelwal From Kamla Nehru College, Delhi University.
Adding to this other female commuter Shikha Chaudhry from Ramlal Anand College said, “It’ll really helpful during the night time. As female commuters, we always worry about our safety and wellbeing. More than us our parents remain anxious about our wellbeing. Now they can also keep a live track of our route and ensure our safety.”
This initiative by Google will help commuters in travelling safely.
Divya Tripathi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV