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Google to add railroad warnings on navigation app

WASHINGTON — Google will add audio and visual alerts to warn drivers about upcoming railroad crossings on Google’s navigation system, the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration announced on Monday.

The agency also asked four other companies – Apple, Garmin, Tom Tom and AOL’s MapQuest – to join similar map partnerships using the agency’s data to pinpoint the crossings, it said. AOL is owned by Verizon.

The FRA said about 270 people died last year in road-rail collisions. With more drivers using smartphone navigation apps to reach their destinations, the agency said they will be safer if they know about rail crossings they are approaching.

Acting FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg, a former Facebook Inc executive, said the agency’s geographical data pinpoints nearly every rail crossing in the country.

Representatives for Google could not be immediately reached for comment.

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