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Google Maps Adds Shortcuts Through Houses Of People Google Knows Aren’t Home Right Now

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—Touting the new feature as an efficient way for users to reach their destinations faster, Google Maps announced Thursday its service would now suggest shortcuts through the houses of people Google knows aren’t home at the moment. “With this update, most destinations will offer the option to select routes on which Google’s real-time phone-tracking data indicates a residence, office, or commercial establishment is entirely unoccupied, and will give users directions through the doors, windows, fences, and yards to provide the speediest option,” said Christopher Phillips, head of Google’s Geo team, adding that the feature would provide the optimized navigation routes for pedestrians, cyclists, and even drivers. “Our intuitive user interface leverages real-time location monitoring to indicate whether a house is unoccupied by having it appear green on the map, and using a star to indicate whether the home is unlocked. Our analytics team knows exactly when the occupants have left, where they are, and when they’re going to return home, so you can also select different times for your travel to discover when you’re likely to have the fastest and most direct route through empty houses. We also utilize grocery data to determine whether the homeowner has gone shopping recently and has some good snacks in their home that you can grab off the counter on your way.” The company also announced a suite of new features for its Google Maps Premium Plan, including one that barrages homeowners on a subscriber’s optimal route with product recommendations until they go shopping, leaving their houses empty and available to take shortcuts through.