Google Maps is no longer an outdoor navigation system – the tech giant is rolling out an upgrade that provides directions inside different facilities.
Users can now use Live View on smartphones to maneuver around malls, airports and train stations.
The Indoor Live View Feature uses AR cues to provide turn-by-turn directions over a live shot of the area.
The 2021 upgrade also includes a new weather layer that shows the current and forecasted predictions, along with eco-friendly routes as many nations aim for a carbon free world.
Google Maps is no longer an outdoor navigation system – the tech giant is rolling out an upgrade that provides directions inside different facilities. It has also added the option for eco-friendly routes (right)
Google Maps made its way to the iPhone and Android smartphones in 2019, but the latest announcement is the first time it will include directions for indoor spaces.
Dane Glasgow, VP of product, shared in a blog post: ‘Since then, we’ve been pushing the boundaries of what a map can do, propelled by the latest machine learning.
‘This year, we’re on track to bring over 100 AI-powered improvements to Google Maps so you can get the most accurate, up-to-date information about the world, exactly when you need it.
‘Here’s a snapshot of how we’re using AI to make Maps work better for you with a number of updates coming this year.’
The new weather layer is to help users plan for rain, snow, sunshine or whatever conditions Mother Nature may have planned. You can quickly see current and forecasted temperature and weather conditions in an area
Although the update is packed with a number of new features, the most exciting may be the indoor Live View.
Users can access it in Google Maps just allow their camera to capture the space around them, which is then overlaid with AR cues to follow.
‘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,’ Glasgow shared.
‘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.’
The indoor Live View feature is now on Android and iOS in a number of malls in Chicago, Long Island, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle.
Google has gathered insights from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab to build a new routing model
It starts rolling out in the coming months in select airports, malls, and transit stations in Tokyo and Zurich, with more cities on the way.
The new weather layer is to help users plan for rain, snow, sunshine or whatever conditions Mother Nature may have planned.
‘You can quickly see current and forecasted temperature and weather conditions in an area – so you’ll never get caught in the rain without an umbrella,’ Glasgow wrote.
‘And the new air quality layer shows you how healthy (or unhealthy) the air is -information that’s especially helpful if you have allergies or are in a smoggy or fire prone area.
‘The weather layer will be available globally and the air quality layer will launch in Australia, India, and the U.S., with more countries to come.’
The last upgrade will show users optional routes that are deemed eco-friendly.
Google has gathered insights from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab to build a new routing model that optimizes for lower fuel consumption based on factors like road incline and traffic congestion.
‘Soon, Google Maps will default to the route with the lowest carbon footprint when it has approximately the same ETA as the fastest route, stated Glasgow.
‘In cases where the eco-friendly route could significantly increase your ETA, we’ll let you compare the relative CO2 impact between routes so you can choose. Always want the fastest route?
‘That’s OK too — simply adjust your preferences in Settings. Eco-friendly routes launch in the U.S. on Android and iOS later this year, with a global expansion on the way.’