Rumoured new Google Maps feature could stop dodgy cabbies

We’ve probably all fallen victim to the “long way” taxi trick.

The one where the cab driver takes you to your destination — only after an extra long, scenic drive that considerably bumps up the price on the meter.

Unless you’re a local and know the streets in town like the back of your hand, it isn’t always easy to know you’ve been taken the long way to your destination. It’s an expensive pitfall many out-of-towners fall straight into.

But a new Google Maps feature reportedly being considered by the tech giant could put an end to that dirty taxi trick.

Google is testing a feature that will give users an alert when their taxi strays more than 500m offcourse, XDA Developers has reported.

Google is reportedly testing a new Google Maps feature that could stop dodgy cabbies ripping off passengers.Source:istock

The feature is said to enhance passenger safety as well as ensure they’re not being ripped off by unscrupulous cabbies.

Google appears to be testing the feature in India, the only place XDA Developers believes it is available so far.

But if the feature expands, it will add to a suite of new and revamped safety features on Google Maps.

The app update would let the user know when the ride is straying offcourse.Source:istock

Google announced on Thursday the SOS alerts feature would be updated to include real-time visual information and a navigation warning system in times of crisis to help users best understand what they need to do to stay safe.

SOS alerts show users vital information about a crisis, such as a summary of events, relevant news stories and tweets, emergency numbers and tips. With the update, it will also show “detailed visualisations about hurricanes, earthquakes and floods” as well.

Google is also using the crisis information directly in Google Maps by displaying a prominent alert as you navigate from one location to the next to let you know if your route is affected by crisis activity.

Google has been making big plans in the Maps department. Picture: AP/Jeff ChiuSource:AP

Hurricane forecast cones and earthquake shakemaps will begin to roll out on iOS, Android, desktop and the mobile web around the world in the coming weeks. Flood forecasts visualisations will be exclusive to India, where flooding occurs frequently. And navigation warnings will hit iOS and Android this northern summer.

Earlier this year, it was reported Google was rolling out a new Maps feature that used augmented reality to make sure you never got lost following directions again.

— with the New York Post

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