Google Maps develops feature to highlight Well-Lit Alleys

Google Maps has been one of the best when it comes to driving, navigating and getting directions, or getting recommended about public places, or being helped while using public transport. Thanks to their continuous progress, they are coming up with a feature that will let you know whether streets are well-lit or not.

The new feature which is marked under “work in progress” was an idea that once got instant fame, courtesy to a tweet by a Twitter user named Emily, which was soon followed by retweets and a flood of comments came up in support. No sooner than that, Google Maps employed its best minds to work.

Just recently, the online navigation company had brought up its Maps’ live AR walking directions, which is now generally known as Live View which showed you through the use of a visual overlay and provide a route to get you to the destination. With several updates made, the Google Maps app has surely made commuter’s lives easier.

By having apps like Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music available within the main app itself, it made a small but significant effort towards making driving safer than ever. For people who took public transport to navigate from one place to another, Maps started showing traffic delays, schedule of train departure, ETA, and net walking duration.

In keeping with its trend of always improvising, comes Google Maps’ street walking mode. You get to know which streets are dark and which roads are well-lit. The feature would highlight the well-lit areas with a yellow coloured highlight. It is surely expected to help users avoid dark pathways and streets with poor or no lighting.

The new layer is called ‘Lighting’, and its features got revealed by a string in APK teardown of Google Maps v10.31.0 beta. This will surely enhance safety for walkers. They will then have the option to choose an alternate route and street while completely avoiding the dimly lit one. At least they would know about the roads beforehand.

Though it has not been revealed when this feature comes to live, it is sure to hit the market soon as per the news. In any case, it would boost the safety and security of travellers and walkers. Few developers suspect India to be the foremost countries where this feature could be brought first. Road safety and women safety are the prime concerns, evidently.

Google had released a new feature for users of the app in India called ‘Stay Safer’. The updated feature helps users to share their live status of the journey with family and closed ones. While travelling in taxis and auto-rickshaws, the mode is particularly helpful. If the vehicle deviated above 500 metres from the suggested route by Google Maps, phone buzzes and you can compare with the original route.

The street lighting feature is extremely beneficial for countries where both women safety and road safety are major concerns that technology can address although there are few hindrances in the way. For the app to work most efficiently, our roads should be equipped with smart street lights.

In the absence of that, data submitted by users could be put to use. It is critical to note that infrastructural changes go hand in hand with the establishment of software-related features. The case is entirely different when existing lamp posts and street lights get “smart” and have Wi-Fi support to be able to work with IoT (Internet of Things).

The modular street lamps require the placement of municipal Wi-Fi for public usage, cameras fitted at check posts and IoT controlled devices like microphone and speaker fitted along the way to tackle cases of emergency. Further, the infra can be worked up to ensure LED lights for efficient lighting, air quality monitors and heat sensors are placed too.

Google Maps has wider plans for enhancing the safety of commuters, and the yellow highlighting feature is not exactly one among them. But that being said, a lot of the good work is happening, which is worth applause. With time, the infra shall be developed further and having smart city technology would be adequate to support all cutting edge software techniques.

Rosa Margaret

Rosa Margaret is a Senior Architect who plays a role of designing, planning and developing different projects for her firm. She is highly skilled in analyzing blueprints, sketches, and models for environmental and safety issues. She loves to do gardening in her free time which is quite evident in her exquisitely maintained backyard.

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