Google Maps has announced a whole bunch of new functions for the coming weeks. The focus is on environmentally friendly driving.
Google Maps is the world’s most popular online map service. Users can call up maps, set routes and receive route information both on their desktop and smartphone. For the following weeks, Google Maps has now announced new functions for the application. One thematic focus is the environment. In the future, for example, users will have the option of choosing particularly climate-friendly routes. According to the company, this is possible thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, AI.
New Google Maps functions should help the environment
Anyone planning their route with Google Maps in the future will have the option of choosing the route that causes the lowest CO2 emissions. This is also selected by default if the journey time does not deviate too much from that of the fastest route. An AI calculates the CO2 pollution of the individual routes on the basis of the data on the route, altitude and traffic jams. According to Google Maps, this new function should first be available in the USA, but a global launch is definitely planned.
In addition, there is to be a new route view that suggests more environmentally friendly alternatives to users on the way without significantly increasing the journey time. The AI automatically suggests the means of transport preferred by users, such as bicycles. This should motivate people to switch to environmentally friendly means of transport more often. According to Google, the infrastructure of the respective environment should also be included.
From June 2021, a new function should also be available that notifies users of environmental zones . In such environmental zones, certain exhaust gas regulations apply to vehicles. A corresponding message then pops up on the smartphone, in which an alternative route is suggested if necessary.
New function brings indoor live view to Google Maps
Google Maps introduced the live view function for people on foot last year. Live View uses augmented reality to compare what you see with the smartphone camera with the images from Street View. This allows Google Maps to find out the exact position and orientation. You just look at the smartphone screen, where the directional signs are placed directly above the street view.
Until now, Live View was only possible outdoors. The Google blog post says: “Thanks to new developments that help us to determine the exact height and placement of objects within a building.” Google Maps can now recognize which floor you are on. This means that it is now also possible to navigate inside buildings that have Street View material. These include airports, train stations and shopping centers.
You can now be directed to the check-in, gate, baggage claim, platform and ticket machine. But there are also signs for elevators, toilets and ATMs. For the time being, Live View for interiors is only available in some cities in the USA, as well as Tokyo and Zurich. But other cities are to follow.
Also interesting: Secret innovations found on Google Maps
Display of weather and air pollution and many other functions
Google Maps is also getting new map details that can provide even more information about the destination. This includes the options air quality and weather. If you search for a location using the weather setting, Maps shows the current temperature and weather conditions. An hourly forecast also appears in a box.
With the air quality setting, however, you get more information about the degree of pollution of the air at the destination. A scale also shows how healthy or unhealthy the air is and whether it is suitable for outdoor activities. The air quality is also useful for people with allergies and provides information about whether the destination is in a forest risk area. According to Google Maps, it works with the Weather Company and the Central Pollution Board, among others.
In total, over 100 new improvements for Google Maps are planned, all of which are primarily based on advanced AI technology. Among other things, an Assistant Driving Mode will soon be coming to Germany that will incorporate messenger messages into the application, which users can then have read out to them. We will keep you up to date on further innovations.