In a bid to make commuting less stressful for Nigerians, Google has unveiled a Google maps feature for informal transit.
This is coming on the heels of years-long complaints from users about how hard it is to follow bus directions and other informal routes on Google maps, especially in Lagos State.
Speaking at the launch on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, Jeff Albertson, a senior product manager at Google, said the development is geared towards making navigating Nigerian roads easier.
Albertson disclosed that the informal routes feature is built with data and feedback from local Google guides, and Road Preppers Technologies as a key data partner.
According to the Google official, the feature is only available on Android, stressing that other platforms would be made to enjoy it later.
“Most of our users are on Android, even though we don’t have a timeline yet, it will eventually come to other platforms that users interact with Google Maps on,” Albertson said.
He added that launching the feature in Lagos would allow the product design to collect data, feedback details, as well as help it get better while expanding to other cities.
He stated that in time, the feature will also be launched in Abuja, Ibadan, and other cities across Africa.
The new Google feature can be accessed by tapping a bus icon labelled ‘Traffic’, located underneath the map page.
It allows users view estimated fares, quick shortcuts and routes, information on current traffic and weather conditions.
As Google puts it: “From finding directions across town by Danfo or BRT, to seeing photos of local landmarks, the improved app lets you track and time your waka beta.”