On the outside, Google Maps may look like just a regular navigation app that guides your way but the app comes with a number of hidden features that make it a superhero for travellers. And one of these features makes traveling in public transport like cabs and auto rickshaws a little safer. The feature called Stay Safer will warn the user if the vehicle they are travelling in takes a detour from the route selected. The Stay Safer option also allows you to share your trip live with a selected contact, which means your selected contact can track your progress, all through Google Maps.
The feature is only available on Android for now, so you would need an Android device to use it. Before getting started, make sure your Google Maps app is up to date and is connected to the Internet as the feature requires Internet connectivity.
Here is a step by step guide on how to use Stay Safer on your Android device:
Step 1: Open the app
First things first, search the home screen of your Android device and find the Google Maps. If you do not have it on your phone by any chance, go to the Google Play Store (which you will surely have) and look for Google Maps and download it.
Step 2: Feed your destination into the app
Once launched, enter your destination in the white Search bar on the top of your display.
Step 3: Tap on Directions:
After you have entered your destination, tap on the blue ‘Directions’ button, placed next to the start icon, on the tab at the bottom of your screen.
Step 4: Select Stay Safer
Tapping on the ‘Directions’ icon will replace the previous tab on the bottom of your screen with a new tab with different options. Out of the three options, tap on the ‘Stay Safer’ icon.
Step 5: Choose between two options: Share Your Trip…
Selecting the option will bring you two different options that will both add to making your ride a safer one. The first option is ‘Share Live Trip’. This feature will allow you to share your live location with the contact you have selected. So the person you have selected would know how your ride has progressed and where you have reached exactly. To activate this feature, you have to select the ‘Share Live Trip’ options. Once done, you will find a number of recently contacted people on your Google Maps app. You can select a contact from the options provided or you can swipe right and find the ‘More’ options at the end of this brief contact list, which will take you to your recently contacted person(s) and your phone book. You can select the person(s) (yes, you can choose multiple people) you want to share your live location with. Hit the blue share icon on your screen and Voila! The person you have selected will get a notification and can keep a track of your ride.
…or Get Off-Route Alerts
The second option in the list is ‘Get Off-route alerts’. You can just tap on the option and the app will notify if your vehicle takes a detour from the route that you have selected. If you activate the feature, the app will send you a notification if your driver takes goes off the selected route for more than 0.5 kilometers. You can then decide on your next course of action – alert people, talk to the driver and so on.
You can also stop getting these notifications by selecting the ‘Stop’ icon that will pop up on your screen once you select the ‘Get off-route alerts. “
Google has not rolled out the feature for iOS yet. So, if you are using an iPhone you would have to wait until the update comes your way. But if you are on Android and in a city or town you do not know, this is clearly a feature you should be using!