According to the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), roughly 270 people were involved in fatal collisions with a train while crossing railroad tracks last year. While the FRA looks for ways to improve safety at railroad crossings, they will soon be getting an assist from the private tech company, Google.
Google Maps to Feature Railroad Crossing Alerts
Google announced plans to add visual and audio alerts to its navigation systems that will warn drivers up upcoming railroad crossings. While some collisions at railroad crossing are caused by drivers attempting to get across the tracks before the train arrives, others are simply because drivers were not aware of the crossing or the oncoming train. The hope is that the alert systems within the navigation device will reduce the number of fatalities caused by a lack of awareness.
Alerts May Expand to Other Navigation Systems
Officials with the FRA said the agency has asked four other leading navigation system companies – Apple, Tom Tom, Garmin, and MapQuest – to add similar alerts to its devices. The FRA is looking to partner with all five companies to provide data on all of the nation’s railroad crossings so they can be included in the navigation systems.