Google Maps is releasing a feature that will allow drivers to see where police are located along their way. According to Google Inc., “drivers will be able to report hazards, slowdowns, and speed traps.” This feature is not new to the direction apps because has also been on Waze, a byproduct of Google, for quite some time.
Police have been and continue to be concerned about these features. The sheriffs’ association in 2015 said that they “are concerned that terrorists, organized crime groups, and gangs will find this a valuable tool to further their illegal activities”. This is controversial because this feature will not differentiate between marked and unmarked police vehicles. The intention behind this feature is not to target police but to help drivers follow the speed limits.
However, now that Google maps has this feature, there is little to differentiate between Waze and Google. Waze is a community based app that allows users to input hazards, accidents, comments on hazards or accidents, and mark where police are. Google maps is data based and includes more information on the businesses like hours, pictures, and website links.
I am from Texas and have made the drive between Austin, TX and Mobile, AL for 3 years now. I have only used Waze because of the unique features it has. It has proved very useful with its users commenting on accidents saying if it just happened or being cleaned up. Knowing where the police are and the alternative routes provided, these features are more ways that helps me make it home safer and slightly faster. However, with Google maps releasing this feature the playing field is leveled but I will continue to use Waze for a little longer.