Google Maps May Soon Show Well-Lit Streets as a Safety Feature

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At present, Google directs people to correct routes with its Maps. Soon, it will point people to safer streets with a new feature being developed.

According to a report from The Next Web, a tech news platform, XDA Developers found codes in the Maps beta release (v10.31.0) indicating that streets with good lighting will be marked in yellow. Designed to make nighttime trips safer, the feature called “Lighting” intends to help people adjust their routes, based on the lighting conditions of the roads and streets.

Since the feature is still being developed, experts couldn’t provide visual tools showing how exactly the technology works. 

At the same time, there are a few things that remain unknown, including how the data for street lighting will be collected, how it will be updated, as well as where it will be available.

Google Maps’ Safety Features

This isn’t the first time the search engine giant introduced safety features. Back in 2017, they introduced SOS Alerts, a service that sends announcements of natural disasters and outlines navigation warnings to help people plan their routes, as reported by The Verge. The feature also provides visual information about hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes

Just recently, NDTV reported Google’s release of Stay Safer, a feature that sends a phone alert when a taxi driver deviates more than 0.5 km from the route Maps recommended. While there may be other reasons the driver is going off-route, say, a short cut or road construction on the way, the idea of Stay Safer is to give passengers a warning that they’re going through an unknown area. The safety feature gives people the option to share the live status of the trip with friends and family, allowing passengers to take appropriate action, if necessary.

“Safe Philippines” Campaign

The local government also remains true to its commitment to making places safer–not just streets, but cities at large. Last November, Manila Bulletin reported the launch of the Safe Philippines project, an initiative of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), with five Metro Manila-based local government units as partners.

These five municipalities include Marikina, Pasig, San Juan, Parañaque, and Valenzuela.

Prioritizing a collaborative and efficient approach to public order, safety, and security, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said that the campaign intends to strengthen the capabilities of the agency and LGUs through a partnership and the use of information and communication technology-driven subsystems and solutions.

The initiative involves the creation of an Intelligent Command, Control, and Communication Center (IC4) for the National 911 Public Safety Answering Point, DILG, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). City-level command centers will also be launched as part of the campaign.

The use of advanced ICT, which includes intelligent video monitoring, multimedia critical communication, information management, and command center systems, will be the key elements of the collaborative project.

The coalition’s ultimate goal is to reduce the number of crimes and make the response time of civil authorities as well as fire personnel more efficient, especially in times of natural or man-made disasters.

As reported by the Philippine News Agency, Secretary Año shared that they are expecting to minimize crime by 15 percent and hasten response time by 25 percent with the technology available.

Investment Growth

Known for its disciplined citizens, Marikina has been selected by the DILG as the pilot city for the Safe Philippines campaign.

Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro honored Secretary Año for picking their municipality to take part in the project. He said that the initiative will significantly improve their efforts to preserve peace and order in the area.

According to the PNA report, the city will receive various apparatuses for the command centers, including computers that have access to a computer-aided dispatch system and digital info display. The conference room will have a high-definition teleconference endpoint, high-definition IP cameras, digital handsets for public safety, and units of one-key emergency button devices.

There are already 80 identified locations around the city that will have CCTVs. They were chosen based on the prevalence of crime in the area, traffic situations, and the likelihood of flood and fire incidents.

Teodoro also expressed his optimism about economic growth, as the low crime incidence and security of the city will make it a hotspot for investments.

Sources: The Next Web, The Verge, NDTV, Manila Bulletin, Philippine News Agency

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