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Google Maps to help travel safely

New Delhi: With the whole world coming to a standstill due to the unprecedented outbreak of the coronavirus, tech-giant Google has come up with a new feature that will let users know about the COVID-19 related information when they venture out.

In a blog post by Ramesh Nagarajan, the Product Management Director of Google Maps, he informed that they are introducing a new feature for Android and iOS users to help them easily find important information if they need to venture out, whether it’s by car or public transportation.

“When you look up public transit directions for a trip that is likely to be affected by COVID-19 restrictions, we’ll show relevant alerts from local transit agencies. These alerts can help you prepare accordingly if government mandates impact transit services or require you to wear a mask on public transportation,” said Nagarajan.

These transit alerts are currently being introduced in India, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the US.

Google Maps are also introducing driving alerts to notify users about the COVID-19 checkpoints and restrictions along their routes, like when crossing national borders. These features will be first rolled out in Canada, Mexico, and the US where the user will see an alert on the directions screen and after starting navigation if the route is impacted by these restrictions.

When navigating to medical facilities or COVID-19 testing centers, Google Maps will display an alert reminding users to verify eligibility and facility guidelines to avoid being turned away or causing additional strain on the local healthcare system.

They are starting the alerts for medical facilities in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea, and the US, and testing center alerts will be available in the US.

In 2019, Google introduced crowdedness predictions for public transit in Google Maps.

Powered by tens of millions of contributions from past riders, these predictions help people see how crowded a particular bus line or train tends to be.

Google Maps is now making it simpler for people to contribute crowdedness information for their transit lines. Look up Directions, tap through to see the Transit Details, then scroll down to find crowdedness predictions (where available) and easily contribute your own experiences.

Additionally, in February, Google Maps also announced new insights like temperature, accessibility, and security on-board, as well as designated women’s sections in regions where transit systems have them.

These insights are now rolled out globally, helping users find feedback from past riders when available and submit their own, right alongside public transit routes.

To help wheelchair users around the world know before they go, Google Maps has added more granular accessibility information for people to find and contribute, including where there are wheelchair accessible doors, seating, stop buttons, and more.

To ensure proper social distancing, commuters are paying attention to how crowded or comfortable their ride and transit station will be.

Starting today, users can easily see the times when a transit station is historically more or less busy to plan their trips accordingly or can look at live data showing how busy it is right now compared to its usual level of activity.

Simply search for a station in Google Maps or tap on the station on the map to see the departure board and busyness data, where available.

News Credit Zee News

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