Google Maps Gains AI Improvements
Google Maps will be rolling out five AI powered upgrades in the weeks and months to come, which will allow users to “confidently plan and navigate trips, make sustainable choices, and get quick inspiration for things to do.”
The first new feature is Immersive View, which will provide users with a more detailed preview of every part of a trip, including driving, walking, and cycling.
To see an entire route in a multidimensional view, the user can select the directions they want, then tap Immersive View preview.
It shows visuals turn by turn directions and a time slider. This helps with planning when to leave based on information like simulated traffic, and weather conditions.
Google revealed iOS and Android users can experience the feature for trips in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Florence, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tokyo, and Venice. It remains unclear if any Australian cities will be added.
Another feature, Lens in Maps, (formerly Search with Live View), now uses AI and AR to help understand surrounding and get acclimated.
Tapping the Lens icon in the search bar, and lifting the phone will provide visual information about nearby ATMs, restaurants, coffee shops, stores, and transit stations.
This feature will roll out to over 50 new cities including Austin, Las Vegas, Rome, São Paulo and Taipei in the “biggest expansion of this feature yet.”
Next, Navigation in Google Maps will soon more accurately reflect the “real world,” as the update includes enhanced colours, more realistic buildings, and updated lane details for highways.
These updates will be rolled out soon in 12 countries, including the US, Canada, France and Germany.
This next update is only for this US, where the navigation will inform if there are any HOV lanes on a route. For Europe, AI-powered speed limit information will be expanded to 20 countries.
There is also a new feature for electric vehicle charging station information, providing users with the next charging station on their route.
They will get information such as if a charger is compatible with their vehicle, if the available chargers are fast, medium, or slow, and when it was last used.
The update has already started rolling out “wherever EV charging station information is available.”
The last update is to Google Maps Search, where it will now help users “find inspiration in a whole new way.”
Looking for specific things will provide photo-first results based on analysis of billions of photos. The user just has to tap on a photo to learn more.
The feature has already begun rolling out in France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US, and will expand to more countries.
Finally, the user is bored, or unsure of what to do, they can type in “things to do” to receive a list of thematic results that can be saved. This will roll out within the coming weeks.