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Google Maps gets AI update for drivers

In recent updates to Google Maps, users may have noticed a significant visual shift that has drawn comparisons to its competitor, Apple Maps. 
In recent updates to Google Maps, users may have noticed a significant visual shift that has drawn comparisons to its competitor, Apple Maps. 

Google Maps is introducing a series of artificial intelligence (AI) enhancements to its app and web app. 

These updates, unveiled by parent company Google, will also provide essential information for drivers planning routes, including EV drivers looking for chargers. It also brings a more straightforward user experience, exploration, and AI-powered navigation. 

Maps interface update

The navigation interface of the app is also receiving significant upgrades. This includes a more accurate representation of a user’s surroundings, including realistic buildings and enhanced lane details on highways. 

These enhancements will be particularly useful when navigating complex urban environments or highways with multiple lanes. The updated maps will roll out in 12 countries, including the US, Canada, France, and Germany, over the coming months.

Enhanced features for drivers

Drivers in the US will now receive information about High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes along their route. 

It’s also rolling out its AI-powered speed limit information feature to 20 European countries. 

EV drivers using Android and iOS devices will receive additional details about charging stations, including compatibility with their vehicle and the charger’s speed. Users can also check when a charger was last used, ensuring its functionality and preventing wasted trips to faulty stations.

Additionally, it’s rolling out Immersive View for Routes, which offers preview journeys for drivers and pedestrians. 

Search, interests, exploration

One of the improvements involves the integration of AI search enhancements, allowing users to find specific items near them more accurately. 

For instance, searching for “garden-themed restaurant” will yield photo results from user-shared images on Google Maps. By presenting these images, Google intends to help users discover new spots that match their interests. 

If users find particular pictures appealing, they can click on the image to learn more about the business and navigate to it. This feature is rolling out in select countries, including France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US. It plans for expansion to other regions in the future.

Additionally, the app will offer better-organized search results for users with free time and vague plans. For instance, when exploring Tokyo, users can search for “things to do” and receive categorized suggestions like “anime,” “cherry blossoms,” or “art exhibitions.” 

Users can then save these suggestions for later or navigate to them directly. This update, aimed at aiding users in finding activities and dining options, will be available globally on Android and iOS in the coming weeks.

Lens in Maps, previously known as Search with Live View, will be introduced in over 50 new cities, utilizing AI and augmented reality to provide valuable information about nearby points of interest.

With these innovative updates, Google Maps is set to provide users with a more intuitive, immersive, and informative navigation experience, enhancing how people explore and interact with their surroundings. 

About the author

Marce has contributed tech to various prominent publications since 2018, offering a transparent perspective into the tech industry and its effects on its users. She now spends her time developing insightful content for industry players. You know, when she's not gaming or geeking out about the latest fad.

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