Google Maps, which is one of the most commonly used navigation application on smartphones has rolled out new features in India. Google Maps can now alert users about accidents and mobile speed cameras on the road. The feature was earlier rolled out in countries like USA, UK, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and Indonesia.
The feature allows Google Maps users to report an accident on the road by tapping a few buttons. The Google Maps starts showing the report of accident or mobile speed camera on the map after a few users have reported and confirmed the same. After some time, Google Maps even asks other road users if the mobile speed cameras are still present on the location and updates the map accordingly. The Google Maps also show the number of people who have reported the incident or the speed camera location.
At present, the feature is only available on the Android-powered devices but Google may launch the feature in the iOS devices soon. The new features will make driving experience better and will also allow the users to predict the road conditions.
Such features have been criticised by many worldwide but in India, the number of speed cameras deployed on the roads is minuscule when compared to the developed countries. Speed cameras are installed to keep the traffic in check and to bring down the number of accidents on the road. India sees one of the highest numbers of accidents in the world every year and overspeeding is one of the primary reasons for these accidents.
Google Maps is one of the most popular apps that also shows toll booths, alternate routes, live traffic and estimated time of arrival. The application also allows users to share their live location to the others and it can be tracked directly on the map.
There is no such ban on reporting the location of the speed cameras in India. However, it is not known if the fixed speed cameras will be shown on the maps. There are many locations on the Indian highways that get fixed location speed cameras that can be used to trap the violators. Many states have also started issuing electronic challans using traffic cameras and speed radar systems. However, the majority of challans are still done on the spot and there is a long way to go before all the processes are digitized in India.