Google Maps Gets Supercharged by AI: Our 5 Favorite Updates

Google Maps Gets Supercharged by AI: Our 5 Favorite Updates

it’s no secret that Google is going all-in with AI, as evident with the launch of its Pixel 8 series in the US. The tech giant is exploring all the possibilities of AI, so Google Maps gets a number of updates that utilize it. We attended their online roundtable to learn more about these AI-powered updates for Google Maps, and here are some of our favorites:

  • Immersive View for routes. Google Maps currently covers over 20 billion kilometers every day, and this feature lets you preview your route in a multidimensional view. Aside from visual turn-by-turn directions, Immersive View also gives you other helpful information like weather and traffic situations so that you can plan your trips better. This feature will initially roll out in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Florence, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, San Francisco, San Jose, Seale, Tokyo and Venice on Android and iOS.

  • Lens in Maps. Google Lens proves to be very useful for traveling, and Google is fusing both AI and augmented reality to help you easily understand your surroundings even if you are in a place you’re not familiar with. By tapping the Lens icon in the search bar, Google Maps will provide you with information like nearby ATMs, transit stations, restaurants, coffee shops, stores, and more. Lens in Maps is coming to more than 50 new cities including Austin, Las Vegas, Rome, São Paulo, and Taipei.

  • More EV charging information. One of the primary features EV drivers need with Google Maps is finding the nearest charging station along their route. The latest update will give more details about these charging stations including whether the charger is compatible with their EV, when it was last used, and their charging speeds. This update is important, as Google notes that around 25% of EV chargers in the US are down at any given time.

  • Finding “Inspiration” in Google Maps. If you are looking for things like the best place to find “animal latte art”, Google Maps will not give your photo-first results that will match locations that fit your query. This unique way of searching is powered by both AI and advanced image recognition models. With this image-first approach, you’ll have an easier time finding new places around your area. This feature will roll out in France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US this week, and will expand to more countries over time.

  • Thematic search results. Utilizing the power of AI, Google Maps can give you a more organized list of things to do within an area if you don’t have any concrete plans and start from scratch. From inputting “things to do”, Google Maps will give you thematic suggestions to suit your interests, and these suggestions can help you plan out your itinerary better–which is very useful for those who love traveling and going on spontaneous trips.

That rounds up our favorite updates for Google Maps for 2023. Do note that these updates are not yet available in the Philippines, but Google promises to make them available in the country in the coming months.

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