Today Google Maps announced a set of new features on its mobile app (both Android and iOS). These features are directly related to COVID-19 and are therefore meant to provide users with important navigational data to help them commute safely from one place to the other. These include:
1- Transit alerts
These allow users to access transit alerts about trips that can potentially be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. These alerts can help users prepare for any government-mandated requirements for public transit (e.g., wearing a mask). This feature is only available for users in certain countries such as the U.S. Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, and United Kingdom.
2- Crowdedness alerts
To avoid crowdedness and help people maintain proper social distancing, Maps now makes it easy for users to check live ‘busyness’ data for transit stations. They will get to learn how busy a particular transit station is and what’s the best time to use it.
3- Driving alerts
Driving alerts is another new Maps feature which allows users to learn about COVID-19 checkpoints and possible road restrictions that can impact their trip. For now, this feature is only available for people in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
4- Alerts related to medical facilities and COVID-19 testing centers
“When navigating to medical facilities or COVID-19 testing centers, we’ll display an alert reminding you to verify eligibility and facility guidelines to avoid being turned away or causing additional strain on the local healthcare system. Starting this week, alerts for medical facilities will be available in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea, and the U.S., and testing center alerts will be available in the U.S.”
Check out Google Blog to learn more about these new Maps features.