During the I/O 2021 Developer Conference, Google announced a series of feature updates for its own map service. The company plans to provide more than 100 AI-driven improvements by the end of the year, including five feature updates disclosed during the event, including new path planning, Live View enhancements, street view map details expansion, area busy reminders, and more Personalized map experience.
The first is the update of the path planning function, which is designed to improve machine learning and navigation information to help users avoid situations that require sudden braking as much as possible.
When you look up a route in Google Maps, the system will calculate multiple route options based on a variety of factors (such as the number of lanes/direct efficiency). But after this update, you will also see which routes are least likely to experience a sudden drop in speed.
If the estimated time of arrival is the same, or the difference with another route is small, Google will recommend the user to choose the most smooth one. The company expects that this move is expected to eliminate 100 million major events each year.
Live View is an augmented reality feature launched by Google Maps in 2019, designed to facilitate users to instantly explore and view details of nearby shops and restaurants, such as busyness, recent reviews, and photos.
Related updates also include complex road signs at intersections, which can inform users of the relative position between the hotel and the user, making it easier for users to turn back in unfamiliar cities.
At the same time, Google will also expand the more detailed map experience first launched in New York, San Francisco, London, and other cities last year.
It includes natural features and received information (such as the location of sidewalks, crosswalks, and walking paths), which is suitable for walking, cycling, and wheelchair users when visiting the city.
Another feature introduced in this update is to collect anonymous user location information to expand the “busyness” information previously provided to enterprises.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many places, out of health and safety considerations, urged people to avoid gathering too many people in local shops or restaurants.
Now, Google Maps will display the “busy” information of some towns or neighborhoods to help users avoid (or locate) crowded areas, especially when they encounter street festivals, farmers’ markets, or nightclub neighborhoods.
Finally, Google Maps will begin to present a custom interface in a new way. When you first get started, you will find that it can display relevant information according to the local time where the user is located.
For example, when you open the map application at 8 AM on a weekday, you will see the location of the coffee shop highlighted . When returning from get off work, they will be given priority to recommend a suitable dinner place. For tourists who are away from home, Google Maps may also choose to show you local landmarks and attractions. Google said that the new features mentioned above will be rolled out to iOS and Android users worldwide in the coming months. In addition, before the end of the year, Google Maps will usher in more detailed improvements.
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