Google Maps Announces Indoor AR Navigation and Eco-Friendly Route Options
Google today announced several new features coming to Google Maps for iOS and Android this year, including a brand new "Live View" mode that uses AR for navigation inside malls and airports.
Live Mode aims to prevent customers from the "awkward moment when you're walking in the opposite direction of where you want to go" by providing directions in AR, right in the app. Google says the new model uses global localization, which "uses AI to scan tens of billions of Street View images to understand your orientation."
Indoor Live Mode is available on Android and iOS for a small number of malls in Chicago, Long Island, Los Angles, Newark, San Fransico, San Jose, and Seattle. In the coming months, Google says it will roll it out to airports, malls, and transit stations in Tokyo and Zurich, with other locations planned in the future.
As part of its effort to encourage users to reduce their carbon footprint, Google Maps will soon default users to a route with the lowest possible carbon footprint. Google says the new eco-friendly route mode will have roughly the same ETA as regular routes, and in cases where the ETA is drastically different, the app will allow users to compare the CO2 impact of each route, allowing them to make the final decision.
Eco-friendly routes will launch in the U.S. for iOS and Android later in the year, with a global expansion on the way. Additionally, in June, Google will begin alerting users when navigating through a low emissions zone. These zones restrict cars that include high CO2 emissions, such as diesel cars, and sometimes require specific emissions stickers. The feature will initially roll out in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain, and the UK.
Other features coming to Google Maps in the coming months include built-in support for curbside pickup options at grocery stores. Google will begin to include helpful shopping information within grocery stores' Business Profiles in Maps and Search, giving customers quick access to that store's shopping options.