Google has been battling with Apple for years because of the widespread map services. When people are on the move to a place they have never been before, Google Street View has been a real asset.
Few of us have not used the service to find a friend’s new address, for example, or to find the best parking lot in a busy city center before getting behind the wheel. However, using a digital service while driving is not always the most responsible job of a driver, unless he can operate it hands-free. In fact, some countries are tightening road traffic regulations when it comes to using digital technologies. In the UK, for example, fines were imposed behind the wheel for using your phone. Sure, we’d all like to sit back and play on our smartphones at our favorite online casino, but it’s definitely wiser to do this at home than if you should focus on the road ahead.
Interestingly, Google is now implementing a new function that should be used in such a way that you don’t miss the road. It informs users of the speed limit that they are currently supposed to adhere to. This serves to increase security. The service also alerts drivers to traffic cameras that appear on the road they are driving. While this should make it much easier to follow road traffic regulations, the question is whether drivers will use the technology in a completely responsible manner.
The Development of Speed Camera Alerts in Google Maps
First, it should be said that the radar camera notifications from Google Maps are nothing new. What has happened since January 2019 is that Google has extended its service to much larger territories, including the US and the UK. Google introduced the option to display speed limits and draw attention to the proximity of speed cameras on its maps as early as July 2017. However, this only worked if you happened to drive in and around San Francisco Bay in California or in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Essentially, Google is now rolling out these pilot programs because they were considered a success by the technology giant. Thanks to these two schemes, anyone who has installed the Google Maps app on their smart device can use this function much closer to their home. Users just need to download the latest version of their app, and the radar camera alerts will work automatically when the map service is used. After powering up, you do not need to touch your phone or tablet to use the service. This means that theoretically you have a digital passenger who will help you to comply with road traffic regulations. Just as preprogrammed trips tell you which lane you are driving and which exit you have to take, Google Maps will inform you about upcoming speed cameras.
How Can Drivers Make Use of Speed Camera Alerts?
Drivers who have a digital display in their vehicle can use the new service with their connected device. For example, you can use it with Apple’s CarPlay app, if wanted. The service works in much the same way as speed camera alerts that are found in rival satellite navigation services do, such as those developed by Waze and Garmin. Whether you have Google Maps installed on an iPhone or an Android device, it will function in just the same way, informing you that a permanently installed speed camera is on the road you are travelling along.
Some say that the service allows drivers to speed along and only slow down when they know that a speed camera is coming up. For this reason, this sort of technology is outlawed in France. However, the technology has been widely available in the UK for some time, notably from the AA. The big difference is that Google is not charging a subscription fee for these sorts of alerts whereas competitor systems tend to. Bear in mind, too, that mobile speed camera traps are not accounted for by these systems so drivers really ought to stick to the speed limit anyway.
Google has collated data for the locations of speed cameras in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, India, Russia and Indonesia thus far. In addition, there is information for drivers on locals speed limits – even where there are no cameras installed – for drivers in the UK, the US and Denmark.