Google rolled out a major design for Maps last year and intends to do the same this year. Thus, a ton of exciting new features are making their way to Google Maps soon. Along with new upgrades, the company is also on track to bring over 100 AI-powered improvements to Google Maps.
In addition to the latest improvements to the augmented reality feature, this year’s major Google Maps update includes eco-friendly routes and weather information. Note that the announced features will not be rolling out immediately, they will become available gradually in the coming months.
Google Maps to receive exciting new AR feature and eco-friendly routes soon
The new Indoor Live View feature will allow users to point their phone cameras at their surroundings and Google Maps will display overlay directions for them to make indoor navigation easy. “Live View is powered by a technology called global localization, which uses AI to scan tens of billions of Street View images to understand your orientation,” wrote Google in a blog post.
“If you’re catching a plane or train, Live View can help you find the nearest elevator and escalators, your gate, platform, baggage claim, check-in counters, ticket office, restrooms, ATMs and more. Arrows and accompanying directions will point you the right way. And if you need to pick something up from the mall, use Live View to see what floor a store is on and how to get there so you can get in and out in a snap.”
Currently, Indoor Live View is available in some malls in Chicago, Long Island, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. The feature will also be making its way to select airports, malls, and transit stations in Tokyo and Zurich in the coming months, with more cities to follow.
Users will soon be able to use more eco-friendly routes to travel to their destination in Google Maps. The environment-based mode is optimized for lower fuel consumption and uses insights from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab. If the eco-friendly route has a similar journey time to the fastest destination route then Maos will default to eco mode. However, users can change this and have Maps priorities the environment. Eco-friendly directions will be launched in the United States before rolling out globally.
In addition, Google Maps will soon be able to alert users when they are traveling through low emission zones, which is useful for people who are in vehicles that will have to pay a charge to travel through such zones. These alerts will start rolling out in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain, and the UK this June with more countries receiving the update after that.
The last major upgrade is a new weather layer that will help users plan ahead for their trips. In addition to the current and forecasted temperature and weather conditions, the new weather layer will also show users air quality information in a selected area. Google is partnering with The Weather Company, AirNow.gov, and the Central Pollution Board to source data for the air quality layer. The weather layer will be available globally and the air quality layer will launch in Australia, India, and the US, with more countries to follow.
All of these upgrades will be coming to both Android and iOS but Google has not announced a specific date for the release of the new updates. We estimate most features will become available in the coming months.