Bengaluru: Google is adding series of improvements to Google Map exclusively for India only. After introducing ‘two-wheeler mode’ to inform best and fastest route option for bike riders, now Google Map will display the vehicular traffic situation on Indian footpaths.
While speaking to us on the series of ‘reforms’ Google is taking to help Indian commuters, Google India head Rajan Mahendran said, “In a country like India where every day 48 lakh two wheelers are sold, similarly millions drive on footpaths to reach their destination fast. We thought about doing something to help these people.”
Mr. Mahendran added, “Most of the Indian roads do not have footpaths in first place. Whatever footpath available, they are encroached by footpath vendors, people developing their own garden, using it as a dumping yard to dump all construction related materials or extra stuff inside shops. So, we have to use whatever little footpaths left unused more efficiently.”
On the Pilot project Google India ran in Bengaluru, Mr. Mahendran said, “As I have seen here in Bengaluru as well other major Indian cities, there are many ‘smart’ vehicle riders who use the footpaths efficiently. They will drive on footpath till they spot a traffic police and then climb down to push the bike as it got punctured after seeing the traffic cop. Our app will encourage many people jo gandhon ke tara road pe wait karte hain for traffic lights to turn green, can move to signal free footpaths.”
What about few brave people who walk on footpaths, Mr. Mahendran said, “Everyone here knows how to honk, right. Just use it continuously, it will scare even someone who is more than 100 meters away from your vehicle.”
We saw a bike rider scolding at a person walking on footpath as he came on his way, “Uncle thoda dekh ke chala karo. I mean Google map dekho, it is showing so much traffic on this footpath, why you are walking here,” said the bike rider.