Today Google is announcing new updates to Google Maps that will help people explore and navigate in new and more sustainable ways in a more immersive and intuitive map. AI is bringing these changes to life with updates for immersive view and Live View, along with new features for electric vehicle (EV) drivers and people who walk, bike or ride public transit. Some updates will be available from today with some launching in Dublin over the coming months.
Immersive view: rolling out now
Immersive view is an entirely new way to explore a place — letting you feel like you’re right there, even before you visit. Using advances in AI and computer vision, immersive view fuses billions of Street View and aerial images to create a rich, digital model of the world. And it layers helpful information on top like the weather, traffic, and how busy a place is.
Say you’re planning a visit to Trinity College. You can virtually soar over the campus and see where things like the entrances are. With the time slider, you can see what the area looks like at different times of day and what the weather will be like. You can also spot where it tends to be most crowded so you can have all the information you need to decide where and when to go. If you’re hungry, glide down to the street level to explore nearby restaurants — and even take a look inside to quickly understand the vibe of a spot before you book your reservation.
To create these true-to-life scenes, Google uses neural radiance fields (NeRF), an advanced AI technique, transforms ordinary pictures into 3D representations. With NeRF, Google Maps can accurately recreate the full context of a place including its lighting, the texture of materials and what’s in the background. All of this allows you to see if a bar’s moody lighting is the right vibe for a date night or if the views at a cafe make it the ideal spot for lunch with friends.
Immersive view starts rolling out today in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. And in the coming months, it’ll launch in even more cities, including in Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence and Venice.
Explore and navigate with AR
Search with Live View uses AI and augmented reality to help you find things around you — like ATMs, restaurants, parks and transit stations — just by lifting your phone while you’re on the street. Google recently launched search with Live View in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo. In the coming months, the feature will be launched in Barcelona, Dublin and Madrid.
Make driving an EV easy
We’re also seeing more drivers and car companies move toward electric vehicles. As a result, Google Maps is introducing new features for EV drivers with vehicles that have Google Maps built in.
Adding charging stops to shorter trips: On any trip that’ll require a charging stop, Maps will suggest the best stop based on factors like current traffic, your charge level and expected energy consumption. Now you can worry less about remembering to charge, no matter where you’re headed. And if you don’t want to visit that particular station, you can easily swap it with another one with just a few taps.
Very fast charging stations: The ‘very fast’ charging filter will help you easily find stations that have chargers of 150 kilowatts or higher. For many cars, this can give you enough power to fill up and get back on the road in less than 40 minutes.
Charging stations in search results: Google Maps will also show you in search results when places like a supermarket have charging stations on-site. So if you’re on your way to pick up groceries, you can more easily choose a store that also lets you charge your car there.
Get glanceable directions while navigating
No matter what mode of transportation you’re taking — whether you’re walking, biking or taking public transit — Google Maps is making it even easier for you to get around.
With glanceable directions, you can track your journey right from your route overview or lock screen. You’ll see updated ETAs and where to make your next turn — information that was previously only visible by unlocking your phone, opening the app and using comprehensive navigation mode. And if you decide to take another path, Google Maps will update your trip automatically. These glanceable directions start rolling out globally on Android and iOS in the coming months, and will also be compatible with Live Activities on iOS 16.1.
These are just a few ways that AI is helping us reimagine the future of Google Maps — making it more immersive and sustainable for people around the world.