Google has announced several coming new updates to Google Maps that will make the service a lot more useful.
“Thanks to our deep knowledge about the world and powerful AI advancements, we’ve spent the last 16 years bringing helpful information and experiences just like these to the map,” Google’s Oren Naim announced. “Today at Google I/O, we’re announcing five new updates so you can more easily navigate, explore and get things done. “
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Routing updates. Google Maps always calculates multiple route options and presents the most efficient routes to the user. With the latest update, Maps will identify which of those routes is most likely to reduce your chances of encountering a hard-braking moment, which can lead to an accident, and will automatically recommend that route if the ETA is the same or the difference is minimal.
Live View enhancements and more detailed street maps. Live View is Google Maps’ AR showcase, and it will now display details about the shops and restaurants around you, new street signs for complex intersections, if you’re traveling, it will indicate where you are in relation to places like your hotel. Additionally, the street maps feature is coming to 50 more cities by the end of 2021 and will display sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian islands along with the shape and width of a road to scale. This will be particularly useful for those with a wheelchair or stroller.
Identify busy areas. Google Maps displays live busyness information to save time waiting in line and stay socially distanced during the pandemic. Now, this feature is expanding to show the relative busyness of an entire area, like whether a neighborhood or part of town is busier than usual.
Automatic customization based on time and behavior. Maps will now highlight the most relevant places based on the time of day and whether or not you’re traveling. It will feature nearby coffee shops instead of dinner spots in the morning. And if you’re away, it will highlight local landmarks and tourist attractions.
Google says that all of these features will start rolling out globally on Android and iOS in the coming months, with detailed street maps coming to 50 new cities by the end of the year.