Google Maps to alert users about COVID-19-related travel restrictions

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Google is adding features on its Maps service to alert users about coronavirus-related travel restrictions to help them plan their trips better, the unit of Alphabet Inc has said.

KEY POINTS:

  • Google Maps to alert users about travel restrictions
  • The new features will help users check how crowded a train station might be, or if buses are running on a limited schedule
  • Will be available in Argentina, France, India, the Netherlands, US and UK
  • Since the beginning of the pandemic Google has been analysed data from billions of Google users’ phones to examine mobility factors

The update would allow users to check how crowded a train station might be at a particular time, or if buses on a certain route are running on a limited schedule, Google said.

The transit alerts would be rolled out in Argentina, France, India, Netherlands, the United States and United Kingdom among other countries, the company said in a blog post.

The new features would also include details on COVID-19 checkpoints and restrictions on crossing national borders, starting with Canada, Mexico and the United States.

In recent months, the company has analysed location data from billions of Google users’ phones in 131 countries to examine mobility under lockdowns and help health authorities assess if people were abiding with social-distancing and other orders issued to rein in the virus.

Google has invested billions of dollars from its search ads business to digitally map the world, drawing 1 billion users on average every month to its free navigation app.

Via our content partners at Reuters. Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru. Editing by Shinjini Ganguli.

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