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Google Maps will now help South African drivers to avoid speed traps

07/06/2019

Google Maps will be rolling out speed limit and speed camera data to their maps app in 40 countries.

Happily, South Africa is one of those 40 countries. It will probably not make you popular with the local metro police but finally brings our built-in navigation in our phone in line with most in-car navigation systems.

Expanding the marketUp until recently, speed camera and speed limit information was only available in a few markets. Google have now confirmed that the functionality has been rolled out to the following countries as well:

Andorra, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, the UK, the US and Zimbabwe.

The continued omission of this information from Google Maps has been particularly perplexing as Waze, arguably Google maps biggest competitor, has had it baked in for years.

Google vs WazeAdding the speed trap and speed camera data makes sense from a competition point of view. Except that's not the end of the story. Google actually owns Waze, so they have direct access to the speed trap and speed camera data.

However, Google has made conscious effort to keep Waze separate from Google Maps. Unfortunately leaving us poor consumers between a rock and a hard place.

Waze isn't everyone's cup of tea. The interface is a bit busy, and not everyone is a fan of their navigation choices. But where it excels is its ability to add relevant navigation and crowd-sourced data to your daily travels.

In addition, Google Maps is already on your Android device. Having to install an entire extra application that does the same thing is just a waste of space.

Reporting speed camerasThe Google Maps update will also allow users to report mobile and static speed cameras, much like Waze, which is a big advantage to keeping your navigation information current.

Hopefully, this is a sign that Google is starting to leverage its ownership of Waze. This will make our Google Maps experience more intuitive and informative.

On-screen speedometerUpdate: 7 June 2019 - Google confirmed that an on-screen speedometer will be added to the app's interface, which will include speed camera notifications and speed limit indicators.

To turn on the new functionality, simply go the Google Maps' app preferences under Navigation Settings'. Once activated, the speedometer will display in the bottom left corner.

This is nice little feature because some of us may need a little reminder every now and then to take it easy with the petrol pedal. The feature is being rolled out gradually, so it might not be available immediately.

Also read - Top car apps for South African drivers

Tags: GoogleSouth AfricaSpeeding
LINK: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/tech/google-maps-south-african-drivers...
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