New Google Maps feature to help commuters travel safely amid COVID-19 crisis

New Google Maps feature

The search engine giant Google launched a useful new feature that will allow users to know about COVID-19 related information when going out. The New Google Maps feature which is introduced is Android and iOS users help them enhance convenience in finding key information in case the need to go out, via private vehicle or public transportation.

When it comes to the public transit directions to possible affected by COVID-19 affected areas and restrictions, Google Maps shows relevant alerts from local transit agencies. Such alerts can be useful guide for people to proactively prepare, in case the government mandates affect transit services, or you need to wear a mask while travelling via public transport.

At present this feature is active for users in countries including India, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the US. Only these countries get these transit alerts for now.

New Google Maps feature: Driving Alerts to notify Checkpoints

Another useful feature Google Maps have introduced is driving alerts to users informing them of COVID-19 checkpoints and restrictions en route to the destination, especially when crossing state or national borders are required. These features have been initially rolled out in Canada, Mexico, and the US.  Users will be able to see alerts on the directions screen and when the navigation begins whether a particular route is affected by these restrictions. 

Going to healthcare centers or COVID-19 testing centers, Google Maps offers useful alerts informing users to check eligibility and facility guidelines of the center. This helps in reducing the chances of patients getting turned away or visitors posing unnecessary challenges on the already strained healthcare facilities in most places. 

This feature is now already active for getting alerts on healthcare centers in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea, and the US.

Google Maps now offers minute levels of accessibility information to help wheelchair users know before they venture out where there are wheelchair accessible doors, seating, stop buttons, and other features. Leveraging the wealth of useful data Google Maps now offers users information on the times when a transit station is historically more or less busy. This can really help properly plan trips, by also looking at live data showing how busy it is at a particular time.

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