When Google bought Waze in 2013 for nearly a billion dollars, most analysts assumed they would eventually integrate the app's groundbreaking features into Google Maps.
While change has been slow, over the last year eagle-eyed developers have spotted evidence of Google Maps (download for Android and iOS) testing out some of Waze's most beloved features within its own app -- like user collected traffic reports, on-screen speed limits and potential speed traps.
Android Police's Richard Gao said they originally spotted the speed limit addition to Google Maps last July in San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro. They received three different tips last night saying the feature had popped up for Google Maps users in New York City, Los Angeles and Minnesota.
The new addition comes on the heels of a report two days ago that Google Maps had also added speed trap notification and local crash reports -- both popular features of Waze's app. Android Police originally caught the addition in November and December but it seems like it's being rolled out more widely now.
Users have reported seeing the speed limit at the bottom corner of the Google Maps screen, making it easy to spot and change speeds if you need to. Engaget suggested the delay in rollout could be that Google is making sure all of the speed limits are correct before putting them up, avoiding any blame for heavy-footed drivers.
Google has been adding UI to enable these features for the past few months, and Waze fans can finally rejoice as some of the app's best functions are added to Google Maps. You will now see small cameras on your map if others have identified that the area is a speed trap. There will also be a space now for users to write reports on accidents or crashes to notify other drivers.
It's unclear when Google will officially roll out these new Google Maps features but it appears they are testing it in major cities ahead of their next move.
Waze was criticized a few years ago for the speed trap notification feature, which police officers called "irresponsible." In 2015, the feature was hotly debated by police precincts across the country, who said notifying people about where police were stationed would put them in danger and that the notifications allowed drivers to skirt the law.
"Most users tend to drive more carefully when they believe law enforcement is nearby," Waze spokeswoman Julie Mossler told Canada's CBC in response to police complaints.
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- Google Maps is finally integrating popular features from the Waze app, which they bought for nearly $1 billion in 2013.
- Among the features added are notifications for speed traps, the local speed limit displayed on the side of the map screen and ways to file incident or traffic reports.
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