In late October, Google announced in a blog five new AI-powered features enhancing the popular map app in several different ways. Written by VP & General Manager, Geo Chris Phillips, the update lays out five new features that app users will likely enjoy.
The first upgrade is the ability to see the world in 3D with Immersive View. This new feature allows the user to see their route from the street level in 3D. In essence, when you use Google Maps, and apply the Immersive View function, you’ll be able to see a realistic and detailed view of the surroundings, landmarks, and directions.
This also allows the user to explore the area in real-time as well. For homebodies, this is a great way of exploring unknown areas one hasn’t traveled. Or even for those familiar with an area, you’ll be able to see if any changes have occurred or just navigate complex areas to prevent getting lost.
The next upgrade is what Google is best known for, a search feature. This will use AI to assist the user in finding relevant locations based on context, needs, and preferences. So let’s say that you’re hoping to try a new restaurant, Google Maps will show options that match budget, taste, and availability.
Like old Google and Google Maps, this feature will also use user-submitted photos and reviews to provide a solid idea of what to expect from the user. This in turn can allow them to filter the search function based on several conditions such as cuisine, distance, and rating.
Next up is a new AI-enhanced Google Maps Navigation. According to the blog, the AI enhancement will provide users with improved guidance and traffic information. The lane guidance upgrade will likely be a lifesaver for many users as it will provide greater context when and where to turn.
Of course, you can expect better real-time updates on congestion, accidents, road conditions, and more so routes can be optimized. For electric vehicle owners, Google Maps now has expanded EV charging station information.
Google Maps, will provide users with locations of the nearest charging station, and depending on the type of charger the user has, how fast it will take for your EV to charged based on the station they find themselves in.
Finally, a new AR feature will help bring greater information about an unfamiliar area to users. Called Search with Live View, the future is AI-powered and will recognize and label objects, and places depending on where your camera is pointed.
It will then provide the user with information on the locations and objects. Pretty interesting and it will be some time before user feedback becomes sufficient enough to see if these upgrades become popular.
But like rival Microsoft, Google is heavily investing in AI and is attempting to catch up with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, through Bard, and Microsoft by rolling out AI-powered tools in their suite such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, and more.
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