Strava, the popular smartphone app for athletes, released a new safety feature to allow users to share their riding location in real time with family and friends.
The GPS tracking app is a well-liked tool for runners and cyclists to not only track their own trips, but compare them to friends’ routes as well. Users can also obtain statistics such as distance, speed, pace, calories burned and elevation through the app.
Now, the app created in 2014, allows riders to select up to three safety contacts, according to Bike Radar. Those contacts will then receive a text message with a URL that gives them access to an online map with the cyclist’s exact location, and they can watch them to ensure safety.
Although riders must be premium members to access the new “beacon” feature (which costs $6 a month or $60 a year), friends and families of the athletes do not even need the app; they’ll just need a web browser. The chosen safety contacts will not be able to see full ride data of the biker.
The app does come with a few disclaimers: if an area has poor GPS or data accessibility, the displayed location may be delayed or inaccurate. the feature does not work in airplane mode, and requires location services to be turned on.
Strava conducted a study asking athletes what features they want the most, and safety ranked highest.
Beacon is now available for Strava Premium members on both the iOS and Android.