Google today announced some major new features that are coming to Google Maps later this year. The update’s highlight is Live View for indoor navigation, which builds on the Live View feature that Google Maps first rolled out in 2019.
With Live View for indoor navigation, Google wants to put an end to users walking in the opposite direction of where they actually want to go. The company is using AI to scan Street View images to understand the user orientation and indicate the right direction. For now, Google is bringing Live View to airports, transit stations, and malls.
Using Live View, you will be able to find the nearest elevator and escalator, baggage claim, ticket office, restrooms, ATMs, and more. Indoor Live View will be available on iPhone and Android in several malls in Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, San Jose, San Francisco, and Seattle. It will also roll out the feature to select airports and malls in Tokyo and Zurich in the coming months.
Google Maps is gaining a new weather layer that will let you quickly see the current and forecasted temperature and weather conditions. The air quality layer will show you how healthy or unhealthy the air is in a specific area. Google has partnered with The Weather Company, AirNow.gov, and the Central Pollution Board for these layers. The weather layer will be available globally, while the air quality layer will be available in Australia, India, and the U.S.
Google will roll out an eco-friendly routing model in the US. The new routing model will take factors like road incline and traffic congestion into account to suggest a route that will consume the lowest fuel. Google Maps will also automatically default to the route with the lowest carbon footprint when it has the same ETA as the fastest route. In other cases, Google will let you compare the ETA between the two routes along with the carbon footprint so that users can decide what’s more important. Eco-friendly route suggestions will launch in the US in Google Maps for iOS and Android later this year.
Additionally, Google is making it easier to select more sustainable ways of travel in Maps. The company will provide a detailed view of all routes and transportation modes to the entered destination without users having to switch between tabs. Using machine learning, Maps will also automatically prioritize your preferred traveling mode.[Via Google]