In keeping with Google’s recent developments, Maps is set to receive AI enhancements. The company has unveiled a series of machine learning updates for the popular app, introducing features such as “Immersive View” for route planning, deeper Lens integration for local navigation, and more precise real-time information.
Introduced at the I/O developer conference in May, Google’s “Immersive View” for routes provides users with detailed navigation shots of their planned routes. Whether traveling on foot, bike, public transportation, or by car, this feature allows users to navigate their routes with street-level, turn-by-turn visuals, enabling them to move forward and backward. This feature is now available on iOS and Android for select cities, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Florence, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tokyo, and Venice.
In addition to route visualization, Google is enhancing its AI-based Search with Live View feature in Maps. Users can simply tap the Lens icon in Maps and scan their surroundings with their phone, enabling the system to pinpoint their precise street-level location and provide directions to nearby amenities, such as ATMs, transit stations, restaurants, coffee shops, and stores.
Furthermore, the map itself is receiving a significant upgrade. Buildings along the route will be more accurately represented within the app to aid users in navigating unfamiliar cities, and lane details at complex highway interchanges will be presented more clearly. These updates will be rolled out to users in several countries, including the US, Canada, France, and Germany, over the coming months. US users can also expect improved in-app HOV lane designations, while European customers will see the expansion of Google’s AI speed limit sign recognition technology to a total of 20 nations.
Google Maps is increasingly integrated into electric vehicles within the Android Automotive OS ecosystem. In line with this, Maps is receiving an update through the new Places API. Commencing this week, drivers will have access to enhanced information regarding nearby charging stations. This information includes compatibility with their electric vehicle, the charger’s power throughput, and whether the plug has been recently used. The latter provides an indirect means of assessing whether the station is operational, considering that around 25 percent of them are reported out of service.
Moreover, search functionality is also undergoing improvements with this update. Users will soon be able to search for nearby destinations based on more specific criteria, such as “animal latte art” or “pumpkin patch with my dog.” These results are derived from the analysis of “billions of photos shared by the Google Maps community,” as indicated in a recent Google blog post.