New Google Maps feature will help you outsmart speed cameras

Google is testing a new feature in Maps that will allow users to report accidents and speed cameras. The feature is one that already appears in Google-owned Waze but has never made the leap to the company’s own app.

The feature is being rolled out to some Android users after first appearing in the app’s code a few months ago, according to Android Police. If you’re selected to test the feature you’ll see a "+" in a speech bubble in the bottom left corner of the screen.

Pressing it will allow you to report either a speed camera or an accident. This information is then used by Google to generate crowd-sourced information about your local area.

It follows that the data will then be used to alert other drivers to speed cameras. Because this information is updated so rapidly it could even take temporary police speed traps.

Up-to-date information on accidents would also allow Google maps to re-route you, if there is a faster route.

Although Google doesn’t make it clear how it uses this data it’s likely it needs multiple reports to confirm their validity. This prevents one users from causing trouble on the app by reporting speed cameras where there are none.

The app currently needs to be in navigation mode for the feature to show. So even if you know the route to where you’re going, it’s worth typing it in to Maps to see if the new button shows up.

While the feature is in Waze already there are lots of people who use and, perhaps, prefer Google maps, so it’s pretty good news that users of both will get the feature.

To legally use a phone while driving you need to pull over and switch off your engine.

Of course many people ignore this rule, but it’s both dangerous to do so and could land you with a stiff fine and points on your licence. It’s a fixed penalty, so you’ll have six points and a £200 fine (more, potentially if you’re driving dangerously).

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