Taxis or rideshare apps are often a convenient way to get around, but there are safety concerns that have existed since these services began. We’ve all heard stories of friends texting each other before they get in cars to ensure each other’s safety.
Now, Google is testing a new Maps feature that it hopes may help make riders safer. According to Business Insider, the new feature will let people see when their driver veers off course — and their friends can track the journey live.
The feature was originally spotted by XDA Developers. Riders will be alerted if their driver goes more than 500 meters off track. For people who are trying to explore a new city, this can help give them peace of mind.
Right now, the feature is only being tested in India, and there’s no public timeline for its release. Veering off a Google route is pretty common for drivers, but it’s still good feature for people who want to feel secure while they’re traveling on the road with a complete stranger.
It’s unclear how this feature will work alongside rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft. Both apps allow riders to track routes, but you can’t share that information with friends.
As rideshares grow in popularity, it’s important to start thinking about more ways to protect users’ safety.