It looks like Indian market has been a major area of focus for Google, and the company has unveiled a new feature for Google Maps in the country. Google Maps previously displayed direction for only three kinds of people, one who are driving on Cars, one who are travelling via train or bus, and lastly for people walking. But now, Google brings a new category to the list, which is dedicated to the bikers, or in other words for the Two-wheeler owners. As the name suggests, this feature will show the fastest direction or route for the Two-wheeler riders to reach their destination.
Google announced the feature at its Google for India event. It is evident that Google has a big focus on India. Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently commented about India playing an important role in improving Google Maps and other Google products. At the Google for India event, Google also revealed that Maps has seen a 2x user growth in India in the past year.
As we tried the new Two-wheeler feature, we discovered that it is currently available for Android users, while iOS users are yet to receive it. Well, the new Motorcycle mode or Two-Wheeler mode comes with the latest version of Google Maps (v9.67.1) for Android. And in case you have the new version and can’t see the Two-wheeler option, just go to settings to change it.
Announcing this new feature in India makes sense as major number of the country’s workforce travels on motorbikes and there are quite a few routes that are not wide enough for a bigger vehicle to fit in. Google at its event in New Delhi said India was the largest two-wheeler market in the world, with 70 percent of all registered vehicles in India being two-wheelers, which is why the feature is being launched first in the country. It is an “India-first feature.” Previously, some riders used to utilise a combination of walking and Car directions to get a route optimised for bikes. Now, with the special two-wheeler mode, Google is using machine learning to accurately predict speed and routes for such vehicles.
This feature in Google Maps informs the bikers about all the fastest routes possible to reach the destination. Apart from the direction, Google Maps also provides information about the parking situation at the destination, the traffic update and a few more features that come along with the other modes as well.