Google Maps to protect drivers with rail-crossing warnings

When it comes to accessibility, convenience, and arguably even fun, cars win out over trains any day of the week. But when these vehicles meet where road crosses track, trains are going to win every single time; when you’ve got thousands of tons of cargo moving along with such momentum, the only thing a car can hope to do is keep a safe distance. Unfortunately, all too often a car attempts to take on a train at such a crossing, often with deadly results. In order to help keep drivers everywhere a little safer, United States Department of Transportation is working with Google to bring rail-crossing alerts to Google Maps.

Despite efforts to make crossing safer, incidents with vehicle collisions actually increased last year, prompting the agency to take action. That includes providing Google with a detailed account of the location of tens of thousands of at-grade crossings, to further enhance the company’s navigation database.

We’ll also start seeing the arrival of rail-crossing alerts with the Google Maps app, giving drivers a special warning to stay alert when taking advantage of the app’s turn-by-turn directions. Reportedly, a combination of both visual and audio cues will be employed to make sure drivers are aware of the upcoming junction. And with driver inattention believed to be a chief cause of rail-related vehicle fatalities, even a simple warning could go a long way towards keeping drivers safe.

Source: The New York Times
Via: The Verge

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!