Google Maps Quietly Updated with a Killer New Feature Borrowed from Waze

Google owns both Google Maps and Waze, and while for many people having two navigation apps doesn’t make much sense, the Mountain View-based search giant is fully committed to keeping both of them fully up-to-date with new functionality.
Google Maps rail crossing notification 1 photo
Photo: reddit user SamsungGalaxyPlayer
And needless to say, Google sometimes brings features from one app to the other, all in an attempt to provide its users with the best navigation capabilities currently out there.

This is what’s happening right now with Google Maps, which has apparently borrowed a new feature from Waze.

Google Maps has started showing railroad crossing notifications, something that’s been around for quite a while on Waze and which is now rolling out to users gradually.

While the search giant hasn’t said a single thing about this new feature, a post on reddit indicates the train crossing warning would work pretty much the same as it does on Waze. The moment you approach a crossing, you should see a notification on the screen indicating that you should “expect delays” because of railroad crossings.

The same information could also be displayed when setting up new routes, specifically to warn drivers that some delays are possible because of the rail crossings.

For the time being, it’s not yet clear who’s getting the new feature and who isn’t, but Google is slowly pushing it to more users, so more information should surface rather sooner than later. The United States will most likely be the first region to get the new train crossing notifications, but Google could use the Waze data to expand it to more locations across the world effortlessly.

At this point, the new railroad crossing notifications are live for just a small set of Google Maps users, and it’s all powered by a server-side switch. In other words, the Google Maps version that you’re running doesn’t make any difference, so there’s no point in installing the beta builds because they won’t help you get the rail crossing alerts earlier.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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