A set of new AI-powered features are coming to Maps, that mostly add to a more immersive navigation experience and improved search results in the app.
With these AI additions, Maps looks more like Google Search now, where users can enter a range of queries to search for spots and experiences they want to explore. Since Search also uses a number of AI features, it only makes sense why Maps is starting to follow the same path.
One of the ways that Maps is assisting in searching for places, experiences, or services with the help of AI is using the technology to analyze, in real-time, billions of existing photos uploaded by other users. People can ask the app specific questions, similar to the process in Search, and in return get a list of results for nearby places and services that match their queries.
Another generative AI integration in Maps is called ‘neural radiance fields,’ which filters through billions of images, including aerial photos, street imagery, and indoor snaps to create a 360-degree experience. This enables users to estimate the best time to reach their destination with the least amount of traffic.
Speaking about the new features, Chris Phillips, vice president and general manager of Geo at Google, says that they are going to assist people in all kinds of “important decisions” that they make all the time.
Additionally, these AI features are meant to support “more sustainable choices” on Maps, such as riding transit or a bike. Moreover, Google is sharing its API offerings with developers, cities, as well as automotive companies, allowing them to contribute to improvement in Maps for the in-car navigation experience.
Lastly, Google had announced earlier this year a Maps feature called ‘immersive view’ which it is now rolling out to Android and iOS users in 15 cities, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Florence, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, and others. Immersive view offers a 3D, detailed view of any place, along with other important chunks of information, such as local business locations, weather, and traffic.