As the world is gradually relaxing restrictions in place due to the coronavirus situation and adapting to the ‘new normal’, Google Maps is adding a few new features to help smoothen the transition.
When you’re traveling to areas that are likely to have COVID-19 restrictions, Google Maps will now show you important alerts and regulations sourced from local transit agencies so that you can prepare accordingly.
Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the U.S are the first countries to get transit alerts. Google says it will add more regions in the future.
You will also get driving alerts about COVID-19 checkpoints and restrictions along your journey. This will come in handy when you’re crossing national borders. The feature will first go live in Canada, Mexico, and the US.
Alongside, Google Maps will alert you to verify eligibility and check facility guidelines when you’re visiting medical facilities or COVID-19 testing centers. These alerts will be useful in areas where a prior appointment is necessary for testing. COVID-19 test alerts will be available in the U.S whereas medical facility alerts will roll out in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea, and the U.S.
Google added a crowd prediction feature for public transit last June which helps you understand how crowded your bus or train rides are likely to be. The company is now making it easier to contribute crowdedness information. With this change, everyone involved may get benefited from relevant data.
In addition, useful insights that were announced as part of Google Maps’ 15th birthday celebrations revamp like temperature, accessibility, and presence/absence of women’s section are now rolling out globally.