Google is working on bringing new India-specific features to Google Maps. Google is making this move to address unique challenges and opportunities in the sub-continent, a senior company official said. Since the start of 2018, Google has been rolling out new features to Maps now and then, and going forward, users in India will see more India-specific features on the platform. “Google Maps is not just about navigating from point A to B. We have been building for India, addressing the unique challenges and opportunities, with the sole aim of making Google maps more comprehensive, accurate and reliable,” Google Maps for India, Program Manager, Anal Ghosh said to PTI.
Ghosh talked about innovating features for India specifically. The two-wheeler mode in Google Maps comes to India first as 70% of all the vehicles registered in the country are two-wheelers, he added.
“Two-wheeler mode in maps shows trip routes that use shortcuts not accessible to cars, buses and trucks. It also provides customised traffic and arrival time estimations,” he said.
Google Maps’ transit feature provides details on trains, bus and metro routes. It shows schedules for roughly 12,000 Indian railways trains, apart from updated public transport information for bus and metro routes.
“We are working closely with the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. We have been working with them to add public toilets (on Google Maps) across different cities in the country,” Ghosh said.
The company has added public toilets on Google Maps in partnership with the government, the company said in a statement. “We have launched real-time buses in two cities- Kolkata and Surat. We are working to see how we can extend it to other cities as well,” he added.
Not only for Google Maps, the search giant is adding various India-specific features to some of its platforms. For example, Google added Hindi language support to its Assistant, so that users can interact with the voice assistant in a regional language.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.