Update (Dec 5): As expected, Google on Tuesday officially launched the two-wheeler mode in Google Maps. It is now available in the Indian market and will reach other countries over the coming months.
“India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world, and the millions of motorcycle and scooter riders have different navigation needs than drivers of automobiles. Two-wheeler mode in Maps shows trip routes that use “shortcuts” not accessible to cars and trucks. It also provides customized traffic and arrival time estimations. And since so many Indians rely on local landmarks for navigation, two-wheeler mode will show major landmarks on the route so that riders can plan their trip before starting, and don’t have to keep checking the phone on the go,” Google said in a statement.
Earlier (Dec 4): Google Maps caters to everyone: car drivers, public transit users, cyclists, and pedestrians, but the motorcyclists felt left out. But that is changing now. Google has quietly rolled out a new two-wheeler mode for directions in its Maps app on Android. The feature is slowly being released to the Indian users and might take a few days or weeks to reach all.
For countries like India where two-wheelers are a major mode for commute, the new mode will be of great help. As you can expect, the motorcycle routes will be faster and will include shortcuts, which are normally not available for cars.
Google is hosting a press event in India tomorrow and I am hoping to hear an announcement regarding the two-wheeler mode at this event. I will update this report as I get more details.
If you are seeing the two-wheeler mode on your phone in the Maps app, do let us know about the experience in the comments section.
The motorcycle mode comes just days after Google started the broader roll-out of the visual changes to the Maps across platforms. To remind you, the company recently launched a visual revamp of the Maps. The Maps now feature improved driving, navigation, transit and explore maps to highlight what it believes might be relevant to its users at a given time. The company also tweaked the Maps colour scheme and revamped the icons to make it easier for the consumers to find what they are looking for.
Image via Reddit