Google tests a feature that could make taxi rides safer by telling you if your driver veers off track

Avery Hartmans/Business InsiderGoogle is testing new safety features.
  • Google is testing a new feature that will enable Google Maps users to see when their driver goes off route. They can also have friends track the journey live.
  • The feature was first spotted by XDA Developers, who noticed that testing is underway in India.
  • A spokesperson for Google did not deny this, but said that the company has no further updates.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Google is testing a new feature in Google Maps that allows people to use a “stay safer” mode, which will alert you if your driver veers off course.

The new feature, which can also share your journey with friends, who can live track your progress, was first spotted by XDA Developers and is being tested in India.

When Business Insider reached out to Google for a comment, a spokesperson did not deny that testing is taking place. They said Google has no further updates at this time.

According to XDA Developers, the new feature will alert the passenger when a driver goes more than 500 meters off track. This should give passengers peace of mind that they aren’t being taken somewhere they didn’t request or that they aren’t being tricked into a longer route to increase the cost.

Screenshots shared by XDA Developers showed that you need to click the “stay safer” button at the bottom of the Maps screen to activate the new feature. You then have two options: to share the route with a friend, or opt-in to these alerts.

These new features could become important safety tools for people who are using ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, who have come under scrutiny for their background checks on drivers.

Last year, The Sunday Times reported that Uber was investigating 2,500 of its drivers in London over allegations of wrongdoing, including sexual assault, stalking, and dangerous driving.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.