Google Maps is Getting Some Sweet New Features in 2021

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Google posted up a big overview of what’s coming to Google Maps later this year. There’s no solid timeline available for most of them, but they’re coming and they’re powered by artificial intelligence. Get pumped about it.

You may have already heard about Live View, the feature that uses AR to recognize where you are and lead you to where you need to go. Well, Indoor Live View is live now on Android and iOS in a number of malls in Chicago, Long Island, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. It will also start rolling out in the coming months in select airports, malls, and transit stations in Tokyo and Zurich, with more cities on the way around the globe.

Also coming are new layers for the map, both air quality and weather (photoed above). With these layers, users will be able to see real-time data for both air quality (important for anyone living in wildfire or polluted areas), as well as the weather. According to Google, “Data from partners like The Weather Company, and the Central Pollution Board power these layers that start rolling out on Android and iOS in the coming months. The weather layer will be available globally and the air quality layer will launch in Australia, India, and the U.S., with more countries to come.”

Google also wants to make it easier to find eco-friendly routes in your city. Using insights from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab, the company is building a new routing model that optimizes for lower fuel consumption based on factors like road incline and traffic congestion. However, in cases where the eco-friendly route could significantly increase your ETA, Maps will let you compare the relative CO2 impact between routes so you can choose. Eco-friendly routes launch in the US on Android and iOS later this year, with a global expansion on the way.

Headed to grocery store listings in Maps and Search, you’ll soon be able to see who and how curbside pickups and grocery deliveries are handled and which company manages it. To make the process of ordering for curbside pickup more easy, Google is bringing shopping information to the store’s Business Profiles on Maps and Search. That info includes delivery providers, pickup and delivery windows, fees, and order minimums. Google states that it’s rolling this out on mobile Search starting with Instacart and Albertsons Cos. stores in the US, with plans to expand to Maps and other partners.

Lastly, just for us Portland, OR residents (be jealous, it’s ok!), Google is teaming up with Fred Meyer on a pilot in select stores to make grocery pickup easier. As detailed, “After you place an order for pickup on the store’s app, you can add it to Maps. We’ll send you a notification when it’s time to leave, and let you share your arrival time with the store. Your ETA is continuously updated, based on location and traffic. This helps the store prioritize your order so it’s ready as soon as you get there. Check in on the Google Maps app, and they’ll bring your order right out for a seamless, fast, no-contact pickup.”

Most of this sounds awesome. It’ll all be inside of Google Maps this year.

// Google



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