Chicago | October 30, 2023 – Google Maps has been in our digital toolbox for quite some time, acting like a trusty tour guide right on your smartphone. Lately, it’s been making it incredibly easy to navigate our way around the world, and we owe it all to Google Maps. Whether you’re on the hunt for a restaurant, a hotel, or a gas station, this app has got your back, and it keeps improving all the time. They’ve even thrown in some nifty new features, like helping you discover eco-friendly routes to conserve energy and introducing Live View, which is like a GPS for pedestrians with a cool twist.
But wait, there’s more! Google Maps is becoming even smarter, thanks to the wonders of Artificial Intelligence. Google has promised that these updates will revolutionize how you plan your trips, encourage eco-conscious choices, and uncover exciting activities to enjoy. Let’s dive into these cutting-edge AI-powered features that Google Maps has in store for us.
During the I/O event, Google unveiled an exciting new feature known as “Immersive View for routes.” This nifty addition offers a unique way to visualize your entire journey, whether you’re driving, walking, or biking. They’ve already rolled it out in various cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Dublin.
For instance, let’s say you’re planning a bike trip to the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. You can request biking directions and then activate Immersive View. This feature presents your route in a stunning 3D perspective from beginning to end. What’s more, it includes a time slider that helps you select the optimal departure time based on traffic conditions and weather, ensuring you steer clear of rain or traffic jams.
But that’s not all – this innovative feature extends beyond just routes. It leverages AI technology to amalgamate Street View and aerial images, allowing you to preview the appearance of a restaurant or landmark before you set foot there. Moreover, developers can get in on the action by creating their own captivating experiences using Photorealistic 3D Tiles within the Google Maps Platform.
When you find yourself in an unfamiliar place and need to navigate, Google Maps comes to the rescue. For instance, whether you’re emerging from a subway station or exploring a new neighborhood, you can employ Lens in Maps. This nifty tool utilizes AI and augmented reality to assist you in getting your bearings. Simply tap the Lens icon in the search bar, raise your phone, and voila! You’ll receive information about nearby ATMs, transit stations, restaurants, coffee shops, and stores. The great news is that this feature is now accessible in over 50 new cities, including Austin, Las Vegas, Rome, São Paulo, and Taipei.
Google Maps is taking navigation to a whole new level. Soon, the map will depict buildings in a more lifelike manner, making it a breeze to pinpoint your location, especially in bustling downtown areas. And on highways, you’ll receive enhanced lane details, making tricky maneuvers like swift lane changes for exits much more manageable. These updates are set to roll out soon in 12 countries, including the United States, Canada, France, and Germany.
For users in the United States, Google Maps will even provide information about HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes along your route, helping you make the best choices for your journey. Meanwhile, in Europe, they’re expanding their AI-powered speed limit information to cover 20 countries, ensuring your safety, even when speed limit signs are hard to spot. Both of these features will be accessible on Android, iOS, and vehicles with Google Built-in in the near future.
If you drive an electric vehicle, you probably always wonder where to find charging stations. It’s a big help to know where to go when you need to recharge your car. Google Maps can now give you more info about charging stations. When you search for them, you’ll see if a charger works with your car and how fast it charges. Plus, it’ll show you when a charger was last used, so you won’t end up at one that’s not working. These updates are rolling out worldwide on iOS and Android wherever they have info about EV charging stations.
And here’s some cool news – Google Maps will share this EV charging info with developers through the Google Maps Platform. That means companies can use real-time data about EV charging stations in their websites and apps. It helps you plan your trips better.
Google Maps is making searching more fun and visual. When you look for specific things like “animal latte art” or “pumpkin patch with my dog,” you’ll see photo-based results that match your search. These results come from analyzing lots of photos from the Google Maps community, using AI and fancy image recognition. You can scroll through the results, tap on a photo for more details, and easily find your way to the location. This improved search experience is starting in some countries and will come to more places over time.
When you’re on the hunt for inspiration and seeking exciting activities, Google Maps has your back with well-structured search results to ignite your creativity. Let’s say you’re in Tokyo and looking for “things to do.” Google Maps will present you with organized and themed suggestions like “anime,” “cherry blossoms,” or “art exhibitions.” You can simply tap on these suggestions to delve deeper and even save them for future reference. The best part is that these themed search results for both activities and dining will soon be accessible worldwide on both Android and iOS platforms.