Google has announced that the newest update to Google Maps includes COVID-19 related features, according to a blog post from the company.
“COVID-19 has certainly impacted the way that we move around in the world,” the blog post said. “As cities and countries across the globe adapt, we’re committed to bringing the most pertinent information right to your fingertips.”
For those who use public transit systems, Google Maps will now tell users how COVID-19 may impact their commute, including information on whether masks are required.
For drivers, Google Maps will send notifications about COVID-19 checkpoints and restrictions along the planned route. If users set their destination as a medical center or testing facility, the app will display an alert reminding you to “verify eligibility and facility guidelines to avoid being turned away or causing additional strain on the local healthcare system.”
Google Maps has also simplified the process for reporting how crowded a transit line is on the app, so users can make informed decisions about how easy it will be to social distance on public transit.
“To ensure proper social distancing, commuters are paying attention to how crowded or comfortable their ride and transit station will be,” the blog post says. “Starting today, you can easily see the times when a transit station is historically more or less busy to plan your trip accordingly or you can look at live data showing how busy it is right now compared to its usual level of activity.”
Transit alerts will roll out first in the U.S., Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. Google Maps says it will add more countries once they obtain information from local transit agencies.