Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Sci-tech | By Lila Blake

Google Adds Wheelchair Accessible Navigation to Google Maps

Google Adds Wheelchair Accessible Navigation to Google Maps

The new option which is available in six cities like London and NY, targets to make travel easier for people who need an accessible route on public transportation. TechCrunch notes developers behind Google Maps and other mapping apps are still figuring out how to incorporate street info that could be highly valuable to people with disabilities, including sidewalk conditions and grade, curb cuts and pedestrian crossing zones. Presence of several escalators and stairs at trains and bus stations means that navigating through these transportation hubs is not easy for those who use wheelchairs. Select this option, and then your navigation directions will be updated to include only options that are wheelchair-friendly. "Wheelchair accessible" routes are now rolling out to five metropolitan cities with major transit links from around the world: Boston, London, Tokyo, Sydney, and Mexico City. Under the routes section, "wheelchair accessible" should then appear. It has also collaborated with transit agencies in the cities involved to catalogue the most efficient and best accessible routes.

"To access the "wheelchair accessible" routes, type your desired destination into Google Maps", explains Rio Akasaka, Google Maps' project manager.

Google explained in a blog post that much of the data was gathered as part of its Local Guides program.

"We built this feature to make life easier for people who use wheelchairs, but accessible routes are also helpful if you're on crutches or pushing a stroller", Akasaka adds. Unlike many online publications, we don't have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.

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