Google appears to be planning a new safety feature for Google Maps users that will alert them if their car or taxi deviates from its route by more than 500 meters or more. In the initial stages, the feature will only be available for India. The user can set the off-route alerts from the stay safer menu which is accessible after you’ve selected your destination but before you enter navigation mode.
From the way Google is promoting the option, it clearly indicates that the off-route alerts are meant to be a safety feature. The feature will act as a warning sign if a taxi driver isn’t taking you directly to your destination for any reason. There could be plenty of legitimate reasons for changing a route but warning a passenger about any changes could still be very helpful.
The feature will be welcomed by anyone who has been ripped off by taxi drivers who take the long route while the passenger is traveling in an unfamiliar country or city.
It’s unclear right now that how close the safety feature is to a full release or whether it will be globally available or specific to the Indian market. In the last week, Google introduced two India-specific Maps features about public transport and flood warnings.