Google Maps to help travel safely amid COVID-19 crisis with these new features

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New Delhi: As the whole world is suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has come up with a new feature that will let users know about the COVID-19 related information when they get out.

In a blog post by Ramesh Nagarajan, the Product Management Director of Google Maps, he informed that they are introducing new features for Android and iOS users to help them easily find important information if they need to venture out, whether it’s by car or public transportation. 

“When you look up public transit directions for a trip that is likely to be affected by COVID-19 restrictions, we’ll show relevant alerts from local transit agencies. These alerts can help you prepare accordingly if government mandates impact transit services or require you to wear a mask on public transportation,” said Nagarajan in the blog.

These alerts are currently being introduced in India, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the US.

Google Maps are also introducing driving alerts to notify the users about the COVID-19 checkpoints and restrictions along their routes, like when crossing national borders (starting first in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.). The user will see an alert on the directions screen and after starting navigation if the route is impacted by these restrictions. 

When navigating to medical facilities or COVID-19 testing centers, Google Maps will display an alert reminding users 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.

To ensure proper social distancing, commuters are paying attention to how crowded or comfortable their ride and transit station will be. 

Starting today, users can easily see the times when a transit station is historically more or less busy to plan their trips accordingly or can look at live data showing how busy it is right now compared to its usual level of activity. 

Simply search for a station in Google Maps or tap on the station on the map to see the departure board and busyness data, where available. Read the full post here.