Google is always looking to add new features to its key products like Gmail and Google Maps and we’ve seen a lot of new features land on its flagship navigation app recently. As well as the likes of the speed camera notification system, recently added, Google is now testing a new feature that isn’t for drivers, but rather passengers in cabs.
Google is testing a feature for Maps that will alert you if you stray too far from your intended route
When you’re riding in a cab you shouldn’t forget that you’re in somebody else’s car. This means that you should respect the driver and the car, but you should also be aware that, when it comes down to it, somebody else is in control. Yes, you’ve told the driver where to go but, should they wish, they have the power to take the vehicle away from the intended route.
The more serious issue here relates to being taken somewhere you don’t want to go. The less serious issue (but much more common) is your driver taking you on an extended route in order to bump up your cab fare. It looks like Google is moving to help people avoid both of these situations.
According to a report by XDA Developers, Google is testing a new feature that will alert users should they stray too far from their intended route. The feature, called off-route alerts, will send an alert to the user’s phone every time they go more than 500 meters from where the route they’re supposed to be following. This means that whenever they’re riding in a cab, they won’t have to constantly check the route they’re traveling as they’ll know their phone will tell them if all of a sudden if they’re no longer following it. Anybody who has ever visited a new city will know that you want to be looking out of the window when in a cab, rather than at your phone.
Of course, this feature will also be useful for regular drivers who don’t want to stare at their phones all the time when they’re driving. Enabling this feature will allow drivers to check their route before setting off and then drive without checking Maps knowing that if they do take a wrong turn, Google Maps will beep them to let them know.
Unfortunately, for anybody hoping to see this feature land on their version of Google Maps, there is still no official word from Google about when this feature will receive a general roll-out. So far, the feature has only been spotted in India, which means it is likely still at the testing stage. As soon as we know more about this feature or when we can expect to see it, we’ll let you know.