Google introduces wheelchair paths to maps – Tech News

Google has updated the street view for many key transit points, like Japan's Tokyo Station. — Google
Google Maps is making it more intuitive for people with mobility needs to get around by introducing wheelchair accessible routes in its transit navigation.

In addition to Google Maps product manager, Rio Akasaka said, “Google's product management was crucial for the city.”

“Google Maps was built to help people navigate and explore the world, providing directions, worldwide, to people traveling by car, bicycle or on foot, but in city centers, busses and trains are often the best way to get around, which presents a challenge for people who use wheelchairs or with other mobility needs, “she said.

Akasaka said the feature was posted in London, New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney.

“we're looking forward to more vehicles wheelchair accessible routes to Google Maps,” she said.

A GIF on the blog showed how to access the “wheelchair accessible” routes, as such: first type the desired destination into Google Maps.

Then tap “Directions”, select the public transport icon, next tap “Options” and under the Routes section “wheelchair accessible” will appear as a new route type, in addition to the “best route”, “fewer transfers” or “less walking”.

When this option was selected, Google Maps would show a list of possible routes that took mobility needs into consideration.

“We built this feature to make life easier for people who use wheelchairs, but accessible routes are also helpful if you're on crutches or pushing a stroller,” she said Akasaka.

She said in addition to making public transportation more accessible, people around the world have been helping Google add accessibility information to Google Maps.

“Last September, Local Guides from around the World” at 200 global meet-ups to answer accessibility questions – like whether a place has a step-free entrance or an accessible restroom – for more than 12 million places, “she said .

Google has been captured and updated by its Street View imagery of the transit stations and city centers so people can preview a place or transit station ahead of time.

“With the help of transit agencies around the globe and people like you who contributed local knowledge, we're making progress to the more accessible world for everyone, “she said.

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