Google Maps may be one of the most useful Google apps you can find on your phone, especially if you drive or commute every day and previously in another life, when you used to travel a lot. Google shared that they are going big on Artificial Intelligence on the app and will be bringing over 100 AI-powered features and improvements to Maps. What we can expect from the apps include Live View for indoor locations, weather overlays, more eco-friendly routing models, and curbside grocery pickups integration on the app.
It’s not only outdoors that we need some help with navigation. There are indoor places like airports, malls, and transit stations. Maps is bringing Live View to these places and it’s actually live now in several malls in Chicago, Long Island, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. In the next months, it will also roll out in several airports, malls, and transit stations in Tokyo and Zurich. It will help you find places like nearest elevator and escalator, restrooms, baggage claims, specific stores, ticketing stations, and other places you need to navigate to inside these places.
Maps will also have a new weather layer so you will be able to see the current and forecasted temperature in your area or the place that you’re going to. There’s even an air quality layer and this information is pretty important for those who have allergies or other conditions that can be affected by how healthy or unhealthy the air is in a certain area. Google is getting data from organizations like The Weather Company, AirNow.gov, and the Central Pollution Board. The weather layer will start rolling out in the next few months globally while the air quality layer will be available in Australia, India, and the U.S first.
Google Maps is also creating a new routing model that will be more eco-friendly as it will go for lower fuel consumption based on things like road incline and traffic congestion. The default route when you search is for the one with the lowest carbon footprint when the ETA is almost the same as the fastest route. When the difference is a bit big, you can compare the relative CO2 impact between the two. The eco-friendly routes will roll out in the U.S later this year.
Since delivery and curbside pickups have been the choice of a lot of people during this pandemic, Business Profiles on Maps and Search are adding these information to their profiles. This includes delivery providers, pickup and delivery windows, fees, order minimums, etc. They will start rolling out on mobile search in the U.S with Instacart and Albertsons Cos stores but they will expand to Google Maps and other partners as well.