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Google Maps gets smarter with AI upgrades

Google announced major updates to Google Maps powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that aim to transform how people interact with the world. The new features focus on helping users plan trips, navigate unfamiliar places, make sustainable choices, and discover local activities.

According to the Oct. 26 Google announcement, a key addition is Immersive View for cycling, driving, and walking routes, providing detailed previews of journeys powered by Google’s AI. Users can view photorealistic 3D simulations of their whole route, helping them prepare for each turn and avoid issues like heavy traffic.

The feature also incorporates weather and traffic predictions based on AI analysis. Immersive View launched in July for places and will now rollout for routes in cities worldwide.

Google’s Lens in Maps will use your phone’s camera and AI to identify landmarks

Google is expanding Lens in Maps, its AI-driven augmented reality search tool, to over 50 new cities globally. Lens uses your phone’s camera and AI to identify nearby landmarks, shops, and transit stations, making it easier to orient yourself. This helps travelers explore unfamiliar locations or find local spots.

Updates to the navigation map tap into AI to reflect the real world more accurately. Enhanced colors, realistic 3D buildings, and detailed lane guidance aim to boost confidence on the road. AI also powers new speed limit features in Europe and HOV lane alerts in the US.

For electric vehicle (EV) drivers, Google Maps adds AI-powered charging station info to reduce “charging anxiety.” Users see if a station is compatible, charging speeds, and real-time status, thanks to AI analysis. This helps EV drivers avoid stations that are broken or incompatible.

AI image recognition will also enhance Google Maps search to showcase photo-first results for queries like “dog-friendly cafe.” Users can visually browse locations that match their search before navigating. Additionally, AI automatically suggests themed activities like “museums” or “parks” when searching “things to do.”

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Pixabay; Pexels; Thank you!

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Radek Zielinski
Tech Journalist

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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