Technology

Google Maps launches end-to-end biking directions with bikeshare information

Image used for representation purpose.   | Photo Credit: Google

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Google Maps has launched end-to-end biking directions feature, including bikeshare information, in 10 cities. The new feature will be rolled out to more locations in the coming months.

The update includes detailed walking directions to the nearest bikeshare station, turn-by-turn cycling directions to the bikeshare station closest to a user’s destination, and last mile walking directions to a user’s final destination.

Google Maps used for biking directions and bikeshare information.

Google Maps used for biking directions and bikeshare information.   | Photo Credit: Google

 

The new feature can be accessed using Google Maps’ familiar interface, which will also include information on live bike and dock availability.

Additionally, Maps will show links to available bikeshare app to facilitate bike booking and unlocking in some cities.

According to Google, the worldwide search interest for “bike repair near me” hit a record high this month, over twice as many as last year. Further, due to COVID-19, many cities are working on accommodating more riders by widening and adding bike lanes while they continue to encourage cycling.

“Since February, requests for cycling directions in Google Maps have jumped by 69 percent—hitting an all-time high last month,” the company said.

Biking directions were introduced in Google Maps about ten years ago, and now millions of people use it every day in nearly 30 countries around the world. The feature uses machine learning in combination with complex algorithms to provide users smooth and up-to-date bike routes.

Other partnerships

In 2019, Google partnered with Lime, a micro-mobility provider, and launched a dockless bike and scooter integration service in over 100 cities. Now, it is partnering with Ito World, a transport information company, and bikeshare firms around the world to provide docked bikeshare directions.

Apple has also added bike and docking station location information to its Maps app for users in about 179 cities. And, it recently announced support for cycling directions for Apple Maps users.

The 10 cities where Google is rolling out the new feature include Chicago, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, DC, - in the U.S.; London, England; Mexico City, Mexico; Montreal, Canada; Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo, - in Brazil; and Taipei and New Taipei City, Taiwan.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 8:08:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/google-maps-launches-end-to-end-biking-directions-with-bikeshare-information/article32151124.ece

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