Alphabet Inc.’s one of most widely used products for navigation and traffic updates, Google Maps has now rolled out a new feature for cities in India. Under this new feature, the application for Google Maps on the phones of customers alerts them about accidents that have taken place on the route and also the speed cameras they may find along the way. This was so far a common feature for USA, UK, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and Indonesia, but now the feature has been rolled out for India as well.
Under this new feature of the navigation application, the users of Google Maps application can report an accident on the roads with the help of just a few clicks. As the number of users reporting the same accident or speed camera rises, the algorithm of Google Maps kicks in, then asks other users to confirm the accident or speed camera, and later it shows the report of the aforementioned speed camera or accident on the application. Google Maps also seeks reports and confirmations from users regarding the accidents and speed cameras. Apart from this, the application also reveals the actual number of people who have reported the accident and speed camera location.
As has been the case with other Alphabet Inc.’s apps this feature on Google Maps is currently available only on Android devices however the company is supposed to roll out the same feature for Apple’s iOS devices very soon.
Although this feature has been the recipient of criticism worldwide, this is hardly going to impact the road usage pattern in India. The number of speed cameras present even in the metropolitan cities are few and far between. Not to mention that such cameras are installed to control the number of accidents on the road and this might actually help the accident stats as people may slow down upon seeing a speed camera on the path. India witnesses one of the largest number of accidents in the world each year.
There is no confirmation about the fact that whether the new feature will reveal the fixed speed cameras on Indian highways or not. Although there is no rule prohibiting the reporting of a speed camera, the purpose of fixed speed camera on a highway may be defeated as these are used to get hold of overspeeding drivers and curb accidents. Many state authorities have started using the same speed cameras to fine the drivers for instances of overspeeding or breaking the rules via e-challans.