14 February 2020

Google Maps Is Introducing a New “Stay Safer” Feature For Taxi Rides

There’s nothing quite scarier than the feeling of being lost in a completely different country, and being unsure of where to go. This is especially apparent when you enter a taxi. What if the driver leads you off-course? Are they a genuine taxi driver? What if they try to scam?

“Stay Safer” is a new feature that Google Maps has been testing in different regions throughout 2019. Through Stay Safer, Google Maps will track the taxi route to ensure the person on the right course. It will alert the user immediately if it detects that the taxi driver has gone over 500 metres away from the suggested route.

Should you be taken off-route, the feature allows the user to share their live journey with family and friends so that they can keep track of where the user is currently. They can then take appropriate action if necessary.

The feature was initially only available in India, but appears to be on a wider worldwide roll-out. The feature has been reported to be available in the Netherlands, and parts of the United States. Currently, there have been no reports on when this feature will be available within the UK or other European countries.

How To Open “Stay Safer”

Once the roll-out reaches the UK, here’s how to open the feature:

  1. Download or update to the latest version of Google Maps
  2. Switch on your phone’s location services
  3. Search where you want to go, as well as your starting point if necessary
  4. Tap on the “Get Directions” option
  5. Press the “Stay Safer” option
  6. Once the menu bar opens, press the “Share Live Trip” option
  7. Select which people you want to share your location with
  8. To know whether or not your driver is remaining on-track, tap the “Get Off-Routes” option

When explaining the new feature on their website, Google had this to say, “At Google Maps, we have focused on building India-first features to deliver a more relevant and reliable experience for our users. Through our extensive research across India, we found that a lot of people limit their mobility due to safety-related concerns.”

“We’re excited to announce a new feature – Stay Safer – for passengers travelling in taxis and auto-rickshaws, to give them peace of mind, or avoid being taken through a longer route.”

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