Google Maps will now help drivers stay within speed limits, avoid speed traps

Google has rolled out speed limits to Google Maps, two years after the long-awaited feature started testing in San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The speed limit feature will show the maximum speed for the road that drivers are traversing in the lower left side of the app. Google Maps will also now display the locations of speed traps through small camera icons, and the app will reportedly play an audio warning to alert drivers that a speed trap is approaching.

Users have been allowed to report the location of speed trap cameras in Google Maps since late last year, through the report button that shows up with a “+” sign at the bottom left of the app’s main screen. The app is now making the data visible to users in several countries.

Speed limits are being added for the United States, United Kingdom, and Denmark. Meanwhile, speed camera locations are appearing for the U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Russia.

It appears that the new features are coming to Google Maps through server-side changes. The app itself does not need an update in order for users to start seeing the speed limits and speed trap locations.

Google Maps users have been requesting the features for a while, especially as crowdsourcing navigation app Waze provided such information. The features were already available on Waze when Google acquired it for about $1 billion in 2013.

It makes sense for Google to keep the two services different, as Google Maps caters more to users exploring areas on foot, while Waze is geared towards drivers. However, that does not mean that Google Maps will not add what are now considered essential features for drivers. It took a while — over five years — but the Waze feature is now being added to Google Maps.

There has been a wave of updates for Google Maps recently, including new features dedicated to making commutes easier. Google Maps also recently started informing users of any special offers and upcoming events on places that they follow in the app. Users can now also add hashtags to the reviews that they make on the app.

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