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The Google Maps route planning may well be the most used route planning ever and provides in most cases the shortest or the fastest route. Google itself is also convinced of their high quality because now a new function is tested, which bases exactly on it. Users can get warned by Google Maps if the taxi driver drives too far off the ideal route departs and makes major detours.
Google has constantly updated both global road data and speed limits and traffic jams. By evaluating user locations, they also have extensive user movement profiles in their databases. So there is not much room for improvement on this matter. But that’s exactly what the passengers (rightly) expect from their taxi driver – and Google Maps helps.
In India, Google Maps is now testing a new security feature designed to give passengers more protection against being ripped off by taxi drivers. Immediately before starting navigation, the new “off-route alerts” can be activated, with which the app constantly adjusts the current location of the user with the ideal route to the destination. If the user or the taxi is moving away more than 500 meters from the ideal route, the user gets an alert on his smartphone.
The purpose of this function is to ensure that the driver takes the shortest possible and ideal route to the destination and does not pull unnecessary circles or drive over much too long routes – which taxi drivers are often accused of. If this happens then the passenger has to inform the driver of course that the route seems strange to him. The driver then requires an explanation and must point out construction sites, accidents or other reasons, why not chose the direct route.
If you are feeling a bit unsure as a passenger, you can also activate the live share of the location directly from the menu and constantly let others know where you are. This turns the whole thing into a security feature – which I hope will not be needed that often.
This feature can be very handy, but of course, it depends on Google Maps constantly having up-to-date maps. All construction sites and traffic jams must be recorded as soon as possible. They work hard on it, but it’s still far from perfect. Thanks to Google Maps, the passenger now has a tool against taxi drivers who otherwise like to drive long detours. And in terms of security google maps is very innovative here.
Many Taxis exist in India.
On the other hand, taxi drivers must now constantly be monitored by their passengers and have to discuss routes. Anyone who has ever worked in a job with constant monitoring knows that this pressure takes the joy out of the job – and taxi drivers will never have an easy time anyway. Of course, the safety should be in the foreground, but somewhere you have to draw limits.
I rarely drive a taxi, but in my memories, most drivers have used a navigation device anyway that will get them to their destination the quickest way and give the passenger peace of mind that the driver will not make unnecessary detours.
The new feature is currently being tested only in India but could certainly start in other countries too if it succeeds.