Google showed off a host of new AI-powered features and services at its Google I/O event earlier this year in May. Among those, Google Maps, too, was promised a suite of new AI capabilities, including an impressive Immersive View feature that would provide a birds-eye view of your route. Now, “Immersive View for routes” and a few other AI features are finally arriving as part of a new Maps update, Google has announced. The search engine giant is also bringing Google Lens to Maps and adding more real-word information to navigation.
The new Immersive View for routes will let users preview their route step-by-step while driving, walking, or cycling. The feature has started rolling out in select cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Florence, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tokyo, and Venice this week on both Android and iOS, Google said in its blog Thursday.
Immersive View will provide a panoramic birds-eye perspective of your route from start to finish, with turn-by-turn directions. Users can also plan their journey, decide when to head out based on helpful information in Immersive View, like simulated traffic and weather conditions, via the time slider.
Google is also bringing a Lens in Maps feature to help users understand their surroundings in real time. Formerly called Search with Live View, the feature essentially adds Google Lens in the Maps search bar. With a quick tap of the Lens icon, you can open up your camera in Maps and find information about nearby shops, restaurants, or ATMs. The Lens in Maps feature is expanding to more than 50 new cities, including Austin, Las Vegas, Rome, São Paulo, and Taipei. Google did not specify if Immersive View and Lens features would be coming to India.
Navigation on Google Maps is also getting better, bringing more real-world information, Google said. Navigation will now feature updated colours throughout the map, more realistic buildings along your route, and improved lane details. These updates will start rolling out in the coming months in 12 countries, including the US, Canada, France, and Germany, Google said.
Additionally, EV owners driving cars with Google built-in will now get more helpful charging station information, including whether a charger is compatible with their vehicle. This update will go live globally on iOS and Android this week in regions where EV charging station information is available.
Finally, Google is also adding improvements to Search in Google Maps, which will now provide users more answers to their queries and help them discover things to do. The search feature will provide photo-first results of what you’re looking for, Google said. “These results are based on the analysis of billions of photos shared by the Google Maps community — all done with AI and advanced image recognition models,” the company added.