Google Maps has added a new feature on Android that shows users if there's been an accident on the way to their destination. We were able to spot this feature in Google Maps for Android beta version 10.7.2. So we can safely assume Google would soon expand its reach to more users, presumably on both Android and iOS. We don't really have a clue at the moment whether the desktop website of Google Maps is planning to incorporate this feature anytime soon.
Accident reports are available only when users are navigating from one place to the other. I could see the feature working for me when I was on my way to home from office. This feature comes in handy well before you start the journey as it can help you avoid taking the affected route in advance and rather save a huge amount of time by opting for another route. Do check out the screenshot below:
As you can see in the screenshot above, the crash was first reported more than four hours ago. The information, however, was last updated 2 minutes ago. Meaning, it somehow manages to provide users with real-time information of the accident. What we don't know yet is who reports the accident on Google Maps and how.
Google seems to adopt a lot of new features from Waze, another navigation app owned by the company. Waze users can already report an incident on the road, and the similar feature is now being trialled on Google Maps for Android beta. Previously, there were reports that Google Maps is expanding their speed limit feature to more areas in the US. Similar to incident reports, the speed-limit feature is also originated from Waze.
Back in 2013, Google acquired Waze for $966 million to help make Google Maps better.
Google Maps keeps adding quite a few interesting features. Last month, Google provided Delhiites with an auto rickshaw fare estimation feature. Earlier this month, a new instant messaging feature to connect with businesses was spotted on Google Maps for Android.