Initially the feature is rolling out for few cities including New York and Sydney
Traveling is always a tough job for the people with mobility needs or (for those) carrying the baby stroller around them. In order to make things easier, most of the cities offer slopes, accessible subways, and wheelchair elevators at most of the places. However, locating the exact spot of these routes is still a challenging task. Google is bringing some help for the users to easily locate the wheelchair routes using maps.
Google is updating its navigation app with ‘Wheelchair accessible’ feature to guide people through the best available way. The feature will show the ramps and elevators available to accommodate wheelchairs in the route. The feature has started to rollout since Thursday and it will start appearing in the Google Maps after updating the app from the Google Play Store. In December, 2017, Google also announced to add the notification feature, that will alert the users about their journey in real time.
In order to use the new feature, open the Google Maps and enter the desired destination. Now, click the ‘Options’ available under the ‘Routes’ tab, you will find ‘Wheelchair accessible’ turn that on. Now the map will show you the wheelchair accessible routes with directions. For now, the feature is accessible only to the users in Tokyo, London, Sydney, Boston, New York, and Mexico. Google said it is in continuous talks with some local transit companies to expand the feature to other cities soon.
In addition, Google uses the local help to gather more information via its ‘local guides’ program. This program allows the registered local guides to provide accessibility information to Google for improving the navigation system. Last year in September Google carried out over 200 meetings with local guides across the globe. These local guides helped Google in mapping out more than 12 million spots for the wheelchair accessibility campaign. Google is also working to add the street views of the city centers and transit stations so the users can actually see the locations ahead of time. The search giant uses the cloud-sourcing method for keeping the location’s information up to date on its navigation system.