Caption: An illustration from the Google Maps app that shows two people in different locations communicating with one another.
“Over 10% of drivers on the road right now are talking on a cell phone, more than doubling their chances of an accident,” said Samuel Mclean, a product manager on Google Maps. “And 37% of people admit to texting while driving, which is six times more dangerous than driving intoxicated—but we see this happen all the time. Research tells us ETA updates are a particularly common culprit, where social etiquette trumps safety.”
If you’re running late, you may be tempted to take your eyes off the road to text your friends where you are. But with journey sharing on Google Maps, you don’t have to. Your friends can just check the map to see where you are, in real-time.
Caption: A gif of a phone showing the journey sharing feature on Google Maps in action.
To share your journey, start your navigation on Google Maps. Tap the ˄ button and then on “Share trip progress.” Then, choose who you want to share your location with. The most recent update allows you to easily share your location across 3rd party apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more. Once you’ve reached your destination, you’ll automatically stop sharing your location.
“The idea of this feature is to give people a better, safer way to let friends and family know how their journey is going,” Samuel said. “The person waiting for you can see your route, your destination, and an ETA that will change as the traffic does. This is better for them—they get constant, accurate updates—and it's better for yousince you can keep your eyes on the road and off your phone.”
Journey sharing first launched on Android last year, but the new and improved version is now also available on iOS.
“One thing people may not know is that this feature can be used for different modes of transportation, such as cycling and walking. It’s a great way to let your loved ones know what’s up no matter how you’re getting from place to place,” Samuel said. “In our research, we see that people who use this feature are less likely to pull out their phone if they're running late, and we hope that will make the roads a little bit safer for everyone.”