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Google Maps could soon alert you if your taxi driver goes off route

The safety feature could also be used to stop drivers from accumulating a higher fare by taking a longer route.


Mikael Thalen


Published Jun 10, 2019   Updated May 20, 2021, 10:52 am CDT

It appears Google is testing a new feature for its Google Maps app that alerts users when their taxi driver begins veering off the intended route.

The feature, which is currently only available to users in India, will track your location when using a taxi and send notifications if the driver travels more than 500 meters away from the intended route, according to technology news website XDA Developers.

The feature has been added to its “Stay safer” menu option, which also allows users to share live updates with friends or family to ensure they arrive at their destination.

While the alert appears to be focused on keeping riders safe from being taken anywhere they didn’t plan on going, it could also be used to stop taxi drivers from racking up additional charges by purposely taking a longer route.

Although Google Maps normally reroutes users once they have gone off route, the new feature will stick with the original route to keep users aware of their driver’s actions.

Whether or not the feature will make its way outside of India currently remains unclear.

The update comes alongside numerous other new features introduced to users in India this week, including more detailed information on public transport. U.S. Google Maps users also saw a new update this week: The addition of a speedometer will now keep users aware of how fast they are driving.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Google.


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H/T XDA Developers

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*First Published: Jun 10, 2019, 6:00 pm CDT