Google Maps Will Help You Avoid People during the Upcoming Holiday Season to Stay Healthy

In response to the global pandemic and just in time for the holiday season’s bustle, Google Maps is rolling out a new feature to iPhones and Android devices to help avoid crowds and traffic jams in public places.

The new Area Busyness section in Google Maps builds on the Live Busyness feature that tells you when places such as train cars are too crowded for comfort. Google explained that the new feature would “instantly spot when a neighborhood or part of town is near or at its busiest,” so you can safely reschedule your trip for another time when it is less crowded. This way, you’ll hopefully have a lesser risk of contacting COVID-19. Just like Waze tells you about traffic density in an area, this nifty feature will tell you the same, but for people.

The search giant explained that you could simply tap on a neighborhood to see how busy it is at different times of the day. Statistics are also available for restaurants, shops, and recreational places such as museums. That said, the feature could also be of some use to busy people and the socially awkward.

Besides this, Google Maps is also expanding the Pickup with Google Maps feature that was first launched with a few Fred Meyers stores in Portland, Oregon. It now supports Kroger Family stores and is available across 2,000 locations in over 30 states across the US. Using Pickup with Google Maps, you can place your order from the retailer, and Google Maps will let you track your order status, share your ETA, and inform the store of your arrival. You can also tell them where you’re parked so an employee can come to deliver your order.

[Via Google]