Earlier this year at Google I/O, the company announced a number of new features for Google Maps. A few of these AI-powered features are starting to roll out, including Immersive View for Routes, Lens in Maps, and more.
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The goal of the new AI-powered Google Maps features is to “make it easier to plan and navigate with confidence.” According to Google, Maps provides over 20 billion kilometres (yes billion) of directions every day. With the new Immersive View for Routes, rolling out in select cities, users will be able to get an immersive multidimensional preview of their routes before they set out. Google uses AI to fuse together “billions of Street View This feature is initially coming to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Florence, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tokyo, and Venice with more routes in Canada and across the globe planned in the future.
Google Lens isn’t a new feature and has been a staple on Pixel devices for years. Using a photo or your camera, Lens can help you identify text, plants, animals, and more. The feature is new to Google Maps, however, and Lens in Maps is not only replacing Search with Live View but coming to more than 50 new cities including Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver, Austin, Las Vegas, Rome, São Paulo and Taipei. With Lens in Maps, you’ll be able to use AI and augmented reality to scan your surroundings and be shown where to find nearby coffee shops, transit stations, ATMs, and more.
With each Google Maps update, more useful information is added, and the latest update is no exception. Colours are being updated throughout the map, more realistic building representations will be available, and improved lane details are also rolling out in the U.S., Canada, France, and Germany. In the U.S., users will soon be able to see if there are HOV lanes along your route for better planning. In Europe, the company’s AI-powered speed limit information is expanding to 20 countries. For the EV drivers out there, more helpful charging station information, including when it was last used to help avoid stations that are potentially down, will be rolling out globally.
Finally, a new way to search Google Maps will be rolling out to France, Germany, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. this week with other countries coming soon. With the updated search feature, users can use more specific and unique search queries like “animal latte art” or “pumpkin patch with my dog” and the app will return photo-first results attached to locations.
What do you think about the new Google Maps features rolling out? Which one are you most excited for? Let us know on social media by using the buttons below.