Google Maps Starts Testing AR-Powered Navigation

Google Maps AR navigation feature is now being tested

Google Maps Starts Testing AR-Powered Navigation

The app works quite simple - when you start it, Google wants you to look around to recognize the buildings around you and from then on you just follow the arrows. It's like Street View for navigation.

During last year's Google I/O, the company showed off the integration between Google Lens and Google Maps.

Past year at Google I/O, Google previewed a new navigation system within Google Maps that uses AR to guide you to places.

Google first showcased an AR navigation view for Maps at Google I/O 2018. First announced at the I/O developer conference in 2018, Google Maps' AR navigation feature aims to provide more accurate directions by mixing AR with computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI).

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Ms. Inman [Google's lead for user experience on the project] said Google is still tweaking even basic things like the look of the arrows. The real-time feature is however not meant to be on at all times, as it drains battery and the app even reminds the user to turn the feature off once it knows where to go. Ever since its announcement, the feature has been in testing, and now the company is finally ready to release it to a few local guides i.e. advanced Google Maps users. After it has done this, it then creates directions for the user based on the location.

The current version of the new feature entails the users holding the camera up and pointing it to nearby points, and according to the report it took barely "few seconds" to figure out the location "with remarkable precision". This feature is also claimed to help users save the battery.

The feature will likely also be available through AR glasses in the future although no date has yet been given for when it will be readily available to download for phone users or made more widely available. Even though Google Maps and other navigation apps make it incredibly easy to get somewhere, it's still incredibly hard to find out exactly where you are going, especially in new cities.

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