Google Maps can be one of the most useful Google applications you can find on your phone, especially if you drive or travel every day and previously in another life, when you used to travel a lot. Google shared that they are going big on in-app AI and will bring more than 100 AI-powered features and enhancements to Maps. What we can expect from the apps includes Live View for indoor locations, weather overlays, greener routing models, and integration of curbside grocery pickups into the app.
It is not just outdoors that we need help with navigation. There are closed places like airports, shopping centers and transit stations. Maps is bringing Live View to these locations and is currently available at various shopping malls in Chicago, Long Island, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. In the coming months, it will also be rolled out at various airports, shopping malls and transit stations in Tokyo and Zurich. It will help you find locations such as the closest elevator and escalator, restrooms, baggage claims, specific stores, ticketing stations, and other locations that you need to navigate to within these locations.
The maps will also have a new weather layer so you can see the current and forecast temperature in your area or where you are going. There is even a layer of air quality and this information is very important for those who have allergies or other conditions that can be affected by the health or unhealthiness of the air 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 coming months globally, while the air quality layer will be available first in Australia, India and the US.
Google Maps is also creating a new routing model that will be more environmentally friendly, as it will seek lower fuel consumption based on factors such as road slope and traffic congestion. The default route when searching is the one with the lowest carbon footprint when the ETA is almost the same as the fastest route. When the difference is a bit large, you can compare the relative CO2 impact between the two. Green routes will be rolled out in the US later this year.
Since curbside delivery and pickups have been the choice of many people during this pandemic, Business Profiles on Maps and Search are adding this information to their profiles. This includes delivery providers, collection and delivery periods, fees, minimum orders, etc. They will begin rolling out to mobile search in the US with Instacart and Albertsons Cos stores, but will expand to google maps and other partners as well.