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Google introduces AI-powered features for Maps with a focus on India

Google has introduced several India-first AI-powered features for its Maps service, aiming to enhance the user experience with a focus on local needs. The new features include Address Descriptors, Lens integration, Live View Walking Navigation, and Sustainable Routes.

Address Descriptors: This feature is designed to simplify location searches for users in India. It automatically adds up to five relevant landmarks to the shared pin location, providing more context and making it easier for users to identify locations on the map. The Address Descriptors feature is set to roll out nationwide early next year.

Lens Integration: Google is integrating Lens into Maps, allowing users to point their smartphone cameras at streets to access information about nearby locations, such as restaurants and cafes. Lens in Maps will display details like opening hours, ratings, reviews, and photos. The feature is initially launching in 15 Indian cities in January 2024 for Android devices.



How to Use the New AI-Powered Features on Google Maps
How to Use the New AI-Powered Features on Google Maps

Live View Walking Navigation: This feature overlays directions and distance markers on the Maps screen, providing a more intuitive navigation experience for pedestrians. Live View Walking Navigation will be available in over 3,000 cities and towns across India for Android users.

Sustainable Routes: Google Maps will offer more sustainable alternative routes for both four-wheelers and two-wheelers. The feature analyzes real-time traffic data, road elevation, and vehicle engine type to suggest eco-friendly routes. It will be accessible to users across India starting January 2024.

Where Is My Train Updates: Google’s Where Is My Train app will now include real-time train location updates, schematic maps, platform numbers, and more for local trains in Mumbai and Kolkata. Additionally, Google has partnered with ONDC and Namma Yatri to integrate metro schedules and booking directly into Google Maps. This feature is expected to roll out by mid-2024, starting with the Kochi metro.

The introduction of these India-first features reflects Google’s commitment to tailoring its services to meet the unique needs of users in the country. By incorporating AI-powered capabilities, Google aims to provide a more localized and comprehensive mapping experience, addressing specific challenges and preferences of Indian users.

These enhancements align with Google’s broader strategy of leveraging AI to improve various aspects of its services, making them more intuitive, informative, and tailored to the local context. The company continues to invest in AI technologies to enhance user experiences across its diverse range of products and services.

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