Last year, we presented our vision for the future of Google Maps: an immersive, intuitive map that reimagines how you explore and navigate while assisting you in making more sustainable choices. Today, we’re demonstrating how AI is bringing this vision to reality, with upgrades to immersive view and Live View, as well as new capabilities for EV drivers and individuals who walk, cycle, or take public transportation.
The Maps immersive view is now enabled 🎉
The immersive view is a completely new approach to experiencing a location, allowing you to feel as though you’re there even before you there. The immersive view combines billions of Street Views and aerial photographs to create a rich, digital model of the world using breakthroughs in AI and computer vision. And it adds useful information like the weather, traffic, and how busy a location is on top.
Assume you’re going to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. You may practically fly over the building and view things like entrances. You can view what the location looks like at different times of day and what the weather will be like by using the time slider. You can also see where the crowds like to congregate so you have all the information you need to pick where and when to go. If you’re hungry, head down to the street level to check out neighbouring eateries — and even go inside to get a sense of the ambience before making a reservation.
We use neural radiance fields (NeRF), an advanced AI technique that converts regular images into Maps 3D representations, to produce these realistic scenarios. We can precisely reconstruct the whole environment of a place using NeRF, including its lighting, material texture, and what’s in the background. All of this allows you to determine whether a bar’s dark lighting is appropriate for a date night or whether the views at a cafe make it a great setting for lunch with friends.
The immersive view is now available in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo. It will also be available in more locations in the coming months, including Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence, and Venice.
AR allows you to explore and manoeuvre both inside and outside ⬆️➡️
Search with Live View makes use of artificial intelligence and augmented reality to help you find items around you, such as ATMs, restaurants, parks, and transport stations, simply by elevating your phone while walking down the street. You can view useful information such as when a location is open if it is currently busy, and how highly it is rated – allowing you to make an informed selection and maximize your time. We recently introduced Live View search in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo. We plan to expand this feature to Barcelona, Dublin, and Madrid in the coming months.
Augmented reality can be extremely useful when navigating difficult environments, such as an unfamiliar airport. To assist with this, we debuted indoor Live View in the United States, Zurich, and Tokyo in 2021. It employs AR-powered arrows to steer you in the right direction, allowing you to confidently locate the nearest toilets, lounges, taxi stands, auto rentals, and other amenities.
In the next months, we’ll be delivering indoor Live views to more than 1,000 new airports, railway stations, and malls in Barcelona, Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Melbourne, Paris, Prague, So Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, and Taipei.
Make it simple to drive an EV 🚗
We’re also seeing more drivers and automakers switch to electric vehicles. As a result, we’re launching additional Maps capabilities for EV drivers who own vehicles equipped with Google.
- 🗺️Adding charging stops to shorter trips: Maps will recommend the optimum charging stop based on factors such as current traffic, your charge level, and predicted energy usage for any route that will require a charging stop. You no longer have to worry about remembering to charge your phone wherever you go. If you don’t want to visit that station, you may quickly switch to another one with a few touches.
- ⚡ Stations with chargers of 150 kilowatts or higher: The’very fast’ charging filter will help you easily identify stations with chargers of 150 kilowatts or higher. This can provide enough power for numerous automobiles to fill up and get back on the road in less than 40 minutes.
- 🔌Charging stations in search results: Maps We’ll also show you charging stations in search results when places like a supermarket have them. So, if you’re on your way to get groceries, you can choose a store that also allows you to charge your car.
While navigating, get visible directions 🚶🏻♀️🚴♂️🚃
We’re making it easier for you to get around no matter what mode of transportation you use – whether it’s walking, biking, or utilizing public transportation.
You can track your journey with glanceable directions immediately from your route overview or lock screen. You’ll get updated ETAs and directions to your next turn, which were previously only viewable by unlocking your phone, accessing the app, and using thorough navigation mode. And if you change your mind, we’ll instantly update your itinerary. In the future months, these glanceable directions will be available globally on Android and iOS, and they will also be compatible with Live Activities on iOS 16.1.
These are just a handful of the ways AI is assisting us in reimagining the future of Google Maps, making it more immersive and sustainable for users worldwide.