Google Maps unveils AI-powered features; know how Lens, Address Descriptors can help you | Tech News

Google Maps unveils AI-powered features; know how Lens, Address Descriptors can help you

Google Maps has rolled out new AI-powered features in India, including Lens integration, Live View walking navigation, and an India-first Address Descriptors feature. Know all about them.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Dec 20 2023, 18:18 IST
Use Google Maps offline! Know what you need to do
Google maps
1/6 When you have to travel to a new place or any place where you have never been before, or want to know the directions of any area, building, among others, the most common app that you can rely on for the same is Google Maps. Google Maps is one of the most prominent and widely used applications for locating and reaching places you want to visit or are travelling to. (Reuters)
Google maps
2/6 However, you will need an internet connection to run the same. But as per the information provided by Google's support page, if you are travelling by a car you can use Google Maps offline too for reliable navigation and safety features when your car has a poor internet connection. (Pixabay)
Google maps
3/6 Google Maps offline can be automatically downloaded and updated based on your current location and travel patterns. It can be noted that it is only for Google Maps built into your car. Feature availability or functionality may depend on your car manufacturer or region and data plan. Also, this feature is not available in all languages and countries/regions. You will be notified if you are outside the area covered by your Google Maps offline. (Google Maps Twitter)
Google maps
4/6 Google Maps provides data via Vehicle Map Service (VMS) to support safety-related driver assistance features in cars, like road sign integration and adaptive cruise control. These safety features rely on offline map data. To ensure that map data is always available, turn on “auto-download” in the Privacy Center. (REUTERS)
Google maps
5/6 In order to turn on auto-download in the Privacy Center open the Google Maps app. At the bottom, tap Settings then click on Privacy Center and then Offline maps. Select Auto-download offline maps. You need to make sure you have an internet connection and wait for your offline map download to finish. It can be known that if you turn off auto-download, already downloaded maps will remain saved, but no new maps will be automatically downloaded. (Unsplash)
Google maps
6/6 Now in order to manage offline maps, on your car, under "Offline maps," your offline maps will show: Auto-downloaded maps based on your car’s movements, if you have turned on auto-download before. (Google)
Google maps
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Check out all the new AI-powered features coming to Google Maps in India including Lens in Maps, Live View walking navigation, and more. (Unsplash)

As the year comes to a close, Google has rolled out several new features to Google Maps in India. This move aims to enhance the overall user experience of the app as well as set the base for the next year and beyond. One of the standout features of this expansive update is the Lens integration which leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to make searching things easier. It is the latest in line with a slew of AI features rolled out onto the platform lately. Rumours have also hinted that the tech giant might be planning to roll out an AI chatbot in Maps, but more about that later. Check out all the new AI-powered features rolled out in Google Maps such as Lens in Maps, Live View walking navigation, and more.

Google Maps new features

In a blog post, Google announced that it is finally bringing Lens in Maps to India. This feature was rolled out in the US and other global markets earlier this year, and it will be finally coming to Android devices in 15 Indian cities starting January 2024. The Lens in Maps feature allows users to point their camera down the street and instantly see nearby restaurants and cafes, as well as useful information like opening hours, ratings, reviews, and photos.

While India has been late to the party in terms of the Lens in Maps feature, Google is making sure it isn't left behind. Calling it an India-first innovation, Google has also announced a new feature called Address Descriptors. When you drop a location pin and share it with your friends, the Address Descriptors feature will automatically find up to five of the most relevant landmarks and area names around your pinned address, and display the landmark reference when you share your location. This feature uses machine learning and AI.

Google is also bringing Live View walking navigation to India. With this feature, you will see arrows, directions, and distance markers overlaid on the Maps screen, helping you quickly figure out which way to head in. Google says this feature is coming on Android devices in over 3000 cities and towns in India.

Announcing these features, Miriam Daniel, VP and GM of Google Maps, said, “Our goal with Google Maps has always been to organize information about the real-world and make it accessible and useful for everyone. And along this journey, AI has supercharged the way we map for nearly a decade, enabling us to build a comprehensive, up-to-date, and helpful map that's at the foundation of everything we do.”

Other new features include fuel-efficient routing that can potentially suggest more sustainable alternative routes, reducing CO2 emissions. Moreover, Google has also announced the expansion of the Where Is My Train app to cover Mumbai and Kolkata Local Trains, with more cities to come.

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First Published Date: 20 Dec, 11:52 IST
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