Google Maps has received a significant update, with several new features aimed at making the platform more intuitive to use. The updates were revealed during a recent Google AI event, where the company discussed its latest AI technology, Google Bard.
One of the most exciting updates is the introduction of Immersive View. This new feature merges Street View and aerial images to create 3D representations of specific locations. Immersive View offers a more immersive experience, incorporating data such as weather, traffic, and crowd density to provide a better sense of what it’s like to be in a particular place. Initially, five cities—Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, London, and Tokyo—will have access to Immersive View. Google has promised that Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence, and Venice will be among the cities to get the feature in the coming months.
Immersive View is an innovative tool for travelers who want to get a sense of their destination before they visit. With this feature, they can virtually fly over landmarks like the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and see its entrances, as well as use a time slider to see how the location looks at different times of the day.
Another major update coming to Google Maps is the improvement of Live View. This feature now allows users to search for things like restaurants, parks, transit stops, and ATMs by simply lifting their phone when they are on the street. The technology behind this feature uses AI and augmented reality (AR) to overlay information onto the real-world image seen on the phone. Live View shows information like whether a place is open or closed and how busy it is, making it easier to navigate unfamiliar places. The feature has been launched in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo, and will be expanded to Barcelona, Dublin, and Madrid in the coming months. Google has also said that it will bring Live View to over one thousand airports, train stations, and malls in cities like Barcelona, Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, and Melbourne in the near future.
Google is also introducing new features for electric vehicle (EV) drivers who have vehicles with Google built-in. The updates will include adding charging stops to shorter trips, a charging filter to help find stations with 150 kilowatt chargers or higher, and notifications about charging stations near the user’s destination. Non-EV users can still enjoy the updates to navigation, including glanceable directions that allow them to track their journey from their route overview or lock screen. They will also receive updated ETAs and turn-by-turn directions without having to unlock their phone or open the Maps app. Glanceable directions will be available globally on Android devices, with iOS compatibility coming in the near future.
Overall, the new updates to Google Maps are a testament to the company’s commitment to leveraging its AI technology to improve the popular platform. The introduction of Immersive View and Live View, as well as the updates to navigation, are all great examples of how AI can make a difference in our daily lives. Whether you have reservations about AI-driven technology or not, it’s hard to deny the potential of these updates to Google Maps. As Google Bard continues to develop, it will be interesting to see how it is received and how it performs.