Google Maps rolls out speedometer alerts

Google rolls out these days a new update of the Google Maps map, which will notify speedometers and speed controls directly in the app. This includes the Tech Crunch website.

Google Maps rolls out speedometer alerts


Google has been working on this feature for a long time, but so far, it has only been available in a small area in California and in one city in Brazil. Now that the function is thoroughly tested, it becomes available in 43 countries, where Norway is one of them.

We are confirmed by Google Norway's communications manager Helle Skjervold that the new feature was rolled out in Norway. Skjervold also says that Google Maps only warns about stationary speed measurements.

Appears as icons on the map

Speedometers appear as icons on the map, and if you are out and about, you will get the speed limit on the road at the bottom of the app.

Exactly how Google knows where speed controls are, they have not yet said anything about. However, the new app update allows Android users to manually report speed controls or accidents directly into the app.

This is how the reporting menu looks for Android users. It is available by pressing a plus sign that appears while in navigation mode. Photo: android
- The fewer pictures taken in the photo box, the better they work
We get confirmation from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that Google does not retrieve data from them:

- Google does not recover its data from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. We are, however, in a process now that we are working on publishing this data, as it has been considered that it is time to post this data and that we know that it will not detract from the effect of the photobooks, but instead on the contrary. Says Bjørn Brændshøi in the Transport Department at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to Tek.no.

Brændshøi also says that any function that can lead to fewer accidents they consider positive:

- It is essential to point out that the fewer pictures were taken in the photo box, the better they work. If the driver is slowing down because she knows the camera is there, because Google Maps tells her, or because she has other tools that tell her to slow down, it doesn't matter because the desired speed reduction is achieved anyway. Photobooks are deployed on particularly road-exposed road sections where we know that speed is a significant contributor to the accidents.

Although these features are rolled out to Google's mapping these days, it has been available in the Waze navigation app for a long time, which Google also owns. Google repurchased Waze in 2013, but it took them six years before choosing to move over one of the most popular features of the app.

Safe Traffic: Legal in Norway

Christoffer Solstad Steen, acting communications manager at Trygg Trafikk, says that site verification of controls like this is legal in Norway:

It is permitted to notify both speed measurement, speed cameras and other restrictions. This has been discussed for a long time in Norway based on the various app offers already on the market, says Solstad Steen to Tek.no.

Solstad Steen further writes that notification of automatic traffic controls (ATK) causes people to drive the way they are supposed to. But if the apps also start tracking other types of inspections, such as mobile police controls, it can be more problematic:

- Other authorities should both have a preventive effect on most people as well as weeding out the dangerous drivers who are driving too fast or driving intoxication. If these are alerted in the map function, it can help these drivers avoid control and can continue with dangerous driving on the roads. It is unfortunate for traffic safety, concludes Solstad Steen.

Available for both iOS and Android


The new Google Maps update should already have been available to both iOS and Android users. You can check if you have got the function by plotting a destination in the app and pressing "start." Then tap the small arrow icon at the bottom of the screen to see the entire travel map. If the route has speedometers along the way, you will see them as orange icons.