Thanks to a decrease in new COVID-19 cases, an increasing number of cities are opening up to alleviate the economic pressure and suffering caused by the lockdown.
Companies like Google are making some changes to some of their software and apps in step to these developments. One such change is a whole suite of new features that have been added to Google Maps to help travelers steer clear of large crowds.
This is a continuation of the app’s crowdedness prediction features which was designed to alert its users of busy train lines and streets ahead, as well as the expected traffic of the day. These features have now seen better updates in order to facilitate social distancing.
These new updates will come out in the following few weeks, and they’re designed to make it easier for you to anticipate traffic when using different modes of transport, including buses and trains.
All you have to do is go to Google Maps, search for the particular station you’re looking for on the map and check how busy it is and the departure board data provided. That way, you’ll know what the best times are to travel to certain regions and when to avoid public transport.
Don’t forget to click on the station as it’s shown on the map in order to view the different data sets. Not only that, but there’s also a new feature on the app which is designed to allow users to contribute similar data to let other travelers and users know how busy it is in certain places. This makes the app even more accurate.
A lot of people are worried that using these features will give their location away, which is a private detail that most people like to keep to themselves. But a statement released by Google shows that the data shared on the app’s Google Location History feature will remain anonymized and aggregated.
There’s also an extra feature that Google has added where they actually tell you if there are any restrictions you should be aware of on the route you’re traveling on. This includes special safety requirements and public transport service changes on a local level.
Keep in mind that most of the world has been affected by COVID-19 so most places already have travel restrictions in place and ongoing alerts from local transit agencies.
Users can rest assured that this will be accurate data because Google has reassured users that these alerts will come from government websites and agencies on a local, state, and national level. Countries that are affected by these alerts include the US, the UK, Thailand, Spain, Netherlands, Mexico, India, France, Colombia, Brazil, Belgium, Australia, and Argentina.
This means that if you’re approaching a national border with a COVID-19 restriction or checkpoint, then you’ll get an alert on your app with the details. This feature is already available to users in Mexico, the US and Canada.
Lastly, if you are traveling to a COVID-19 testing center or any other medical facility while traveling, you’ll receive an alert to let you know if you’re allowed to enter such a facility.
Another exciting feature that Google Maps will roll out globally is extra transport insights that offer data about designated women’s areas, accessibility, and weather conditions.