Google Maps Getting Mind-Blowing Navigation Feature, the Future Is Now

Google Maps is the most popular navigation app for a reason, and Google's latest announcement demonstrates the company is very committed to retaining this title in the long term.
Google expands Immersive View to Google Maps navigation 10 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Google
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Google is bringing a new feature called "Immersive View for Routes" to Google Maps, with the first users to receive it in the summer of this year.

If you think you've heard this name before, you're not entirely wrong. Google originally announced Immersive View last year at I/O, and the rollout started a few months ago. In essence, what Immersive View does is to bring together Google Maps data, including Street View, aerial images, historical traffic, and so much more, to create a realistic 3D version of the world.

Users can therefore explore certain locations with rich details, such as traffic simulations, weather changes, and day and nighttime. Furthermore, Immersive View can simulate busyiness data, so you'll always get a better picture of how crowded a specific place is at any given time.

Now Google is bringing all this data to Google Maps for improved navigation.

Immersive View for Routes is essentially a mix of the Immersive View with Google Maps navigation. The feature provides a detailed preview of your route using Immersive View data, letting drivers explore everything from intersections, parking spaces, sidewalks, and pretty much everything else they'll come across on the journey.

Furthermore, Immersive View for Routes also simulates traffic and weather conditions using historical driving trends and forecasts. This way, you can tell in advance what you're expected to come across when reaching a specific point along the route.

Immersive View for Routes will start rolling out later this summer, with Google planning to bring it to 15 cities, including New York, Miami, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Berlin, and London. The company promises to expand it to more regions, but of course, no further specifics are available at this point. Google will share additional details on the Immersive View expansion closer to launch, most likely later this year.

Without a doubt, the new feature uses an insane amount of data, so it'll certainly be interesting to see how the whole thing works on Android devices with limited resources, especially for longer routes. Google Maps could end up feeling rather slow without the necessary resources, as realistic 3D simulations could take plenty of time to load.

With this update, Google Maps is once again taking the lead in the navigation space despite the competition in this market getting fiercer. Apple has also brought 3D navigation to Apple Maps, though the company focuses mostly on 3D models without the realistic view powered by Google Maps. Apple's new navigation experience is also rolling out slowly to users across the world.

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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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