New Google Maps features revealed: Better Uber fare estimates, connections to public transit route options, and more

New Google Maps features revealed: Better Uber fare estimates, connections to public transit route options, and more

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Google Maps is one of Google’s flagship services, having served countless users over the years. Features such as Live View AR navigation, new transit features such as crowdedness predictions, assisted public transit routes, and more — all work together to make Google Maps the de-facto navigation solution for so many users. While the use of Maps has fallen off these past months as people try and stay indoors because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Google continues to improve the app, both in the context of its utility within the pandemic and outside of it. Now, several new in-development features have been spotted on their way to a public release and rollout.

Prolific reverse engineer Ms. Jane Manchun Wong has shared some upcoming features to Google Maps. First up, Google is working to improve fare estimates from ride services by sharing route information with them. The in-development feature currently appears to be limited to Uber, but one can presume that other popular services in the region may also be supported at launch. There’s also a toggle present, so one can select which services they are comfortable with for their route data.

Further, deeper integrations have been spotted for bike-sharing service “Bay Wheels”, which will show up as an option for directions, soon.

Next, route options will also see some improvements. Travelers often need to jump modes of transport, especially for daily commutes since the best available public transit service may not be within walking distance. So, route options will get a few different combinations that should aid in planning a journey through various modes for the first and last-mile connectivity.

While all of these upcoming features focus on making transit easier, Maps is also working on changing the discovery experience for points of interest. Place cards are getting a design refresh that will integrate the photographs of the place within the card, instead of the photos appearing behind the card as they do right now.

All of these features are currently in development. There is no word on when they will roll out publicly, but we expect them to land sooner rather than later.