Home Google Maps is finally bringing speed limits to iPhones

Google Maps is finally bringing speed limits to iPhones

TL:DR

  • Apple users will get speed alerts on Google Maps for iOS and CarPlay, helping prevent speeding by changing color when over the limit.
  • The speed limits feature, new for Apple, debuted on Android in 2019 and uses AI and imagery to identify speed limits.
  • Google Maps cross-analyzes information and traffic trends to keep speed limit data up-to-date, aiming to enhance driver safety.

Apple users will soon get alerted when they’re driving too fast as the speed limits feature is coming to Google Maps on iOS and Carplay.

The feature acts as a speedometer, with the tool showing drivers when they’re going too quickly which should help prevent speeding. It does so by the indicator changing colors when and if you go over the limit in the area.

While the speed limits tool will be new for Apple users and soon to be rolled out globally, it debuted on Android more than five years ago.

The feature is old news to those with an Android phone as it was first introduced in 2019 and then expanded upon in May of the same year, with more than 40 countries being added.

On the Google Maps Help page, the company explains how the feature should be for “informational use only,” as they urge people to use their vehicle’s speedometer to confirm the actual driving speed.

How AI is used in Google Maps to implement speed limits

Google Maps holds information about the speed limits for many streets around the world, as they aim to help keep drivers safe.

To do this, they rely on AI to help identify the speed limits along with imagery. “To map the world, we rely on data from many sources; the same is true for how we understand speed limits.”

Information from local government, alongside other authoritative sources, is used where possible too. “For example, in California, 25 miles per hour is the default speed limit in residential areas.”

The nuances are then captured with the help of technology. “Our sophisticated AI models are designed to identify speed limit information from sources like our Street View imagery, as well as third-party imagery.

“We train the AI models on hundreds of different types of signs from all over the world so no matter how different a sign looks, the AI model can still detect the speed limit.

“Once the AI model identifies a sign, we use GPS information from the image to match it to its exact geographic location so we know precisely when to change the speed limit displayed to you on Google Maps based on where you are on your route.”

Google Maps then cross-analyzes information and looks to traffic trends if they suspect a speed limit change has occurred, so they can keep it as up-to-date as possible.

Featured Image: Via Ideogram

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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