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Google Maps Unveils Three New Features for Public Transport

This feature would be available for Delhi and Bengaluru initially before being rolled out to more cities later, Google said

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Google Maps on Tuesday launched three new public transport features, including live train status, to help commuters in India.

Google Maps users in 10 of the largest cities in India will be able to see bus travel times from live traffic, get live train status for Indian Railways, and get mixed-mode commute suggestions that now combine auto-rickshaw and public transport.

“Transit navigation is one of the most popular Maps features in India, and we look forward to these new features that will bring more value to users,” said Taylah Hasaballah, Product Manager, Google Maps, while announcing the new India-first features.

Google Maps users can view bus travel times based on live traffic. This uses Google’s live traffic data and public bus schedules to calculate delays and provide accurate travel times. First product of its kind, this will enable commuters know how long the bus trip will take when factoring in live traffic conditions.

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Google is testing video reviews as part of its ‘Local Guides’ programme. (Representative image) Pixabay

This feature is now live in Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Chennai, Mysuru, Coimbatore and Surat.

Google Maps can now help users know when their train is going to arrive by indicating the real-time live running status. This feature was developed in partnership with the ‘Where is My Train’ app that Google acquired in 2018.

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The public transport tab on Google Maps for Android will now tell users when taking a journey that combines auto-rickshaw and public transport is a good option. It will also indicate how much time it will take, and which station they should take an auto-rickshaw to/from.

They can also see the rickshaw meter estimate, and departure times for their transit connection. This feature would be available for Delhi and Bengaluru initially before being rolled out to more cities later, Google said. (IANS)

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Google Maps to Alert Indians if Cab Drivers Deviate From Route

Google has lately been updating Maps with a plethora of features including a speedometer and support for showing radar locations

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It disabled more than 150,000 user accounts that were found to be abusive - a 50 per cent increase from 2017. Pixabay

Next time when you board an Uber or Ola from the airport, railway station or from a friend’s place at midnight anywhere in India, keep your Google Maps on. In case the driver deviates from the designated drop route for 500 metres, your phone would buzz with a prominent notification — informing you about the deviation and you can promptly alert the cab-hailing service, near and dear ones, or even cops.

Called “Stay Safer”, the India-first feature was rolled out from Wednesday that would alert Android users travelling in public vehicles like taxis or auto rickshaws if their drivers deviate more than 0.5 km from the suggested route on Google Maps.

The users’ phones would buzz with a prominent notification which they would be able to tap on and see where they are compared to the original route.

“Through our extensive research across India, we found that a lot of people limit their mobility due to safety-related concerns. To address this, we are launching this India-first feature,” said Amanda Bishop, Product Manager, Google Maps.

After searching for your destination and getting directions, select the “Stay Safer” and “Get off-route alerts” option.

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It is intended to keep users safe while they are riding in a taxi. Pixabay

The feature, tested exclusively in India, would also allow users to choose to share the live trip with friends and family directly from the screen so they know and can keep track of the journey.

For now, it remains unclear if users in other countries would also get the “Stay Safer” feature or not.

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Google has lately been updating Maps with a plethora of features including a speedometer and support for showing radar locations.

The company also launched three new public transport features including live train status, to help Map users in 10 of the largest cities in India to see bus travel times from live traffic, get live train status for Indian Railways and get mixed-mode commute suggestions that now combine auto-rickshaw and public transport. (IANS)