I’m sure you’re no stranger to Google Maps, the app has become synonymous with getting around these days. Whether you’re planning a trip to visit your friends and family, looking for a new restaurant, or simply on your way to work–you’re most likely using Google Maps. And there’s a good reason for that, it just keeps adding more useful features.
Today, at Google I/O 2021, five new features for Google Maps were revealed to make getting around even easier, starting with safer routes.
Did you know that hard braking leads to more accidents? According to research out of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, driving routes that include more areas with hard deceleration can lead to more car wrecks.
This is why Google Maps will soon be able to detect routes with the least likelihood of hard-braking using machine learning–and if the ETA is the same or has a minimal difference–it will suggest those directions automatically. So, not only will you arrive on time, but you’ll also arrive safely.
Live View Enhancements
Live View with Augmented Reality is one of the coolest features Google Maps has, and it’s about to get even better. By accessing Live View directly from the map, you’ll be able to see details about the shops and restaurants around you, such as how busy they are or recent reviews with photos.
Live View is also getting new helpful street signs while you’re navigating on the road to ensure you always know where you are, especially at complex intersections. It will also be able to tell you where you are in relation to places such as a hotel when you’re traveling. No more getting lost while on vacation, yay!
Detailed Street Maps
Google launched detailed street maps last August in London, New York, and San Francisco to give a better understanding of your surroundings. With the use of Google’s AI and detailed maps, it can help you navigate by showing where sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian islands are while also showing the road to scale.
Now, Google plans to expand detailed street maps to 50 more cities by the end of the year, including Berlin, São Paulo, Seattle, and Singapore.
During the pandemic, the live busyness feature on Google Maps has really taken off. It has helped people avoid crowded areas and each day over 80 million people check live busyness information. Now, Google is expanding it so that you can check the “busyness” of entire areas. Using this information, you should be able to avoid traffic jams and crowds or see where the hottest places are around the city and go check them out.
Staring at a map and seeing the sheer number of locations and pins can be overwhelming, to say the least. So what if your map was smarter and was able to surface relevant places to you when you checked it? That’s what Google plans to do by tailoring Google Maps to you.
For example, say you open Google Maps first thing in the morning, then it would highlight places like coffee shops nearby. However, check it in the evening, and it’ll help surface some restaurants in your area, or viewing it on the weekend might reveal tourist attractions.
Expect to see all these features rolling out globally on Android and iOS in the coming months.