When you’re taking a ride in the car of a complete stranger, whether it be a cab or a ride-hailing service, it can sometimes be a bit scary, especially if you’re in a country that you’re not familiar with. Thankfully, Google seems to be building in a safety feature into Google Maps that will help keep you on your toes.
According to a report from XDA Developers, it appears that Google is testing a new feature in Google Maps that will alert you when the car you’re in is going off the route that you’re supposed to be on. This means that if you’re in a car that’s supposed to be headed to your destination, but the driver decides to switch routes, you’ll be alerted everytime the car sidetracks by 500 meters.
Now, there are plenty of reasons why the driver of a car might choose to use a different route. It could be due to traffic, a decision to avoid a toll, or maybe they simply took the wrong turn and are forced to reroute. However, the fact that users are constantly alerted by the change in routes will at least let the user know that they aren’t necessarily on the route that they are supposed to be on.
At the moment the feature is currently in testing in India, but we imagine that it will eventually find its way to all Google Maps users once the feature has rolled out to the masses. Unfortunately, apart from alerts, there is no built-in reporting functionality, so if you feel unsafe, you’ll need to find another way to alert the authorities or your friends or family about it.
Source: XDA Developers