Google Maps’ New Tools Make for a Safer, Quicker, and More Personalized Experience

It's getting easier to go from point A to point B.

The live view of the new personal experience with Google Maps
Photo: Courtesy of Google

In 2005, Google Maps launched on the web to help people get from point A to point B. Every year since then, it's grown to add new features to make our travels even easier — and this year is no different.

In May, at Google's annual I/O developer conference, the company highlighted the latest innovations to Google Maps so they can "point you in the right direction."

Courtesy of Google

Updates include more tailored information based on the time of day and a user's specific location, direct access to Live View, and a few new innovations to make driving safer. Here are three updates you need to know about.

Smoother, safer rides

Google wants to ensure you not only have an enjoyable ride but a safe one as well. To help make this happen, Google Maps will launch machine learning and navigation information to reduce a driver's chance of encountering "hard-braking" moments. "With this update, we'll take the fastest routes and identify the one that's likely to reduce your chances of braking hard, and we'll automatically recommend that route if the ETA is the same or similar," Google Maps explained in a statement. "Our research shows that these changes have the potential to eliminate 100 million hard-braking events in routes driven with Google Maps each year."

A map tailored to every driver

Courtesy of Google

Google Maps will soon, somehow, become an even more personalized experience. According to the company, it plans to tailor Google Maps to highlight the most relevant information based on time of day and whether or not a user is traveling. For example, "If you live in New York and open up Maps at 8 a.m. on a weekday, we'll prominently feature nearby coffee shops so you can grab a cup on the go. When you head out in the evening, you'll see dinner spots. And if you're on a weekend getaway, it will be easier to spot local landmarks and tourist attractions right on the map." Users can also tap on any place to see similar spots nearby.

Use "Live" to see where you're going

Courtesy of Google

While getting around on foot, Google Maps users can now use Live View, which lets users actually "see" arrows and directions in the world around them. "Say you're exploring an unfamiliar city and need directions, now you'll be able to access Live View instantly, right from the map. You'll see helpful details about the shops and restaurants around you, including how busy they are, recent reviews, and photos." Google Maps will now also display new street signs to help users decipher complex directions, making it all just a bit easier to get out and see the world again.

See more changes coming to Google Maps here.

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