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Google Maps could start alerting you if your taxi goes off route

Google Maps is testing a new feature that will give you a nudge if your taxi driver decides to take you off route.

The alert  spotted by XDA Developers  is designed to improve public safety when using taxi services is unfamiliar towns and cities.

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The feature will also help avoid running up costs on holiday if a driver tries to take advantage of your lack of knowledge of the area and takes you on a long drive to your hotel.

Google will only let you know if you go off course by at least 500 metres. This presumably means that the app will not bother you about a wrong turn or a minor detour designed to avoid traffic as long as the car remains on track to your destination.

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It should be noted that the journey does not get rerouted automatically as Google Maps usually does when you take a wrong turn so the driver will likely need to stay close to the original route to avoid setting the alert off.

This isn’t the first update we’ve seen Google Maps go through in recent weeks. The app recently underwent a number of subtle useful changes including the introduction of a speedometer letting drivers know when they are travelling within the speed limit and helping to identify speed camera locations on route.

The off-route alert update has only been spotted in India so far, along with other India-exclusive features such as auto-rickshaw fares and a tool that tracks public transport delays. However, frequent taxi users should keep an eye on the app if they want to be the first to try this nifty new feature when it eventually hits phones in the UK.

The move comes just after Google released a fresh update to its Android Q beta. The Android Q beta is a test ground for the next the next version of Google’s operating system, which is expected to launch alongside new Pixel 4 phones in October.

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