Google, Apple, Microsoft, and other technology companies have ignored federal security guidelines for adding railroad crossings to their digital maps, Politico said.
An initial request was made in 2016 after a suburban train crashed into a truck in California, killing an engineer and injuring dozens of people. But major maps providers did not take any action after the tragedy happened. The inaction of tech companies provokes the anger of federal agencies, who note that hundreds of people die every year as a result of accidents at railroad crossings in the United States. These crossings could be made less dangerous if drivers could see them on digital maps and in GPS services, which they frequently rely on for navigation.
Google representatives answered the request only in 2017, they said they were worried that users would not be able to get too much information.
“Our product teams carefully consider new safety features in the context of the holistic product experience and, in that way, seek to avoid evaluating individual features in isolation that could lead to overcrowding and create a sub-optimal experience for users,” – the company wrote.
The only company that responded to the NTSB request is the Dutch mapping company TomTom, its representatives noted that they have included rail crossings in their maps for more than a decade.