To facilitate navigation for everyone in some of the largest cities in the world, Google is expanding its popular Maps software with “accessible” routes. The update, which currently includes London, New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston and Sydney, provides detailed information on access to elevators and ramps, transit times and other useful information.
“We have developed this function to make life easier for people who use wheelchairs, but accessible routes are also useful when sitting on crutches or pushing a stroller, and we are moving towards a more accessible world for all.” The company said in a blog.
You can listen to the stories of those who can benefit most from the tool. You will learn how to activate the new function in the next video.
The long-awaited option for wheelchair users emerged as part of Google’s famous “20 percent project,” where employees are encouraged to move creatively beyond their formal workload. Sasha Blair-Goldensohn, a Google software engineer who suffered spinal cord damage in Central Park in New York after an unusual accident eight years ago, helped direct efforts to find a card for the disabled.
“We were a group of 20 percent dedicated to that,” he told CNBC. “But to really get it financially and to occupy it on a larger scale, it will be useful if we tell the people who manage the Maps projects and their employees:” Look, we have people who use this. They ask us to do more. “
With the launch of the new tool, Google is actively soliciting information from users and transit officials about the best way to improve both accessible services.
“With the help of the users, we have been able to add accessibility information to almost 7 million places around the world,” the company added. “By sharing your local knowledge, you can help us get even closer so that anyone, anywhere, can discover and explore the places that best suit their individual needs.”
The company says that in the next few months, Maps will make other cities in the world accessible.