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Google Maps rolls out new AI-powered features

Google has added more features to Maps including a more detailed navigation map and new ways to search

Google is adding new AI-powered features to Maps.
Google is adding new AI-powered features to Maps. (AP)

Google is constantly changing how people explore and navigate with new features such as Immersive View, which was announced was announced at Google I/O 2023 in May. Now, with artificial intelligence (AI) at its centre, Google has added more features to Maps, including a more detailed navigation map and new ways to search.

With the launch of Immersive View for routes feature, people can see the routes before they set off. For instance, if you tap the Immersive View preview, people can see a multidimensional view from start to finish, Google announced in a blog post. You can prepare for every turn with detailed, visual turn-by-turn directions, and use the time slider to plan when to head out based on information such as simulated traffic and weather conditions. The immersive view for routes will roll out this week in cities such as Amsterdam, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, New York, and Paris, on Android and iOS.

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Another feature, Lens in Maps (formerly known as Search with Live View) uses AI and augmented reality to help people navigate a new city better or discover local gems. You can tap the Lens icon in the search bar and lift your phone to find information about nearby ATMs, transit stations, restaurants, gas stations and stores, the blog post explained. Lens in Maps will now be available to more than 50 new cities including Austin, Las Vegas, Rome, São Paulo and Taipei.

Google is also addressing the charging worries that electric vehicle owners experience. Users will now be able to see more helpful information about charging stations, including whether a charger is compatible with their vehicle and whether the available chargers are fast, medium, or slow and help find the charging station that best meets their needs. You will also see when a charger was last used to avoid wasting time by heading to a broken charger.

Search in Google Maps is evolving to give more answers and help discover things to do. For instance, when you search for specific things like the best place to find “pizza costume for Halloween” you will get photo-first results. These are based on the analysis of photos, shared by the Google Maps community, done by AI and advanced image recognition models. When you go through the results and tap on a photo, you will get more information including how to reach the place, the blog post added. 

Users in some countries such as the UK, will also get better-organised search results including thematic place suggestions. This new search method will roll out in France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US this week, and will expand to more countries over time.

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