Google has announced that it has added several new features to Google Maps for Bangladeshi users including a dedicated and new navigation mode for motorcycle riders, a turn-by-turn voice directions feature, and a safety feature built into Google Maps called stay safer. The company announced the feature at a press event today took place at Lakeshore Hotel, Gulshan. The new features are:
Extra help for motorcycle riders
Google Maps now features a new navigation mode for motorcycle riders. Bangladesh has become a country of motorbikes, with more than half the country’s households owning a motorcycle as a common way to get about and cut-through traffic. In Dhaka alone, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) data show that the number of registered motorcycles has doubled over the last eight years. Motorcycles have specific needs. They can take routes that cars can’t take such as narrow roads and alleys. There are also some roads (e.g. highways) where two-wheelers aren’t allowed. Motorcycles often move at different speeds than cars. The new feature addresses these issues. The new navigation mode for motorcycle riders feature delivers more accurate travel times based on machine learning models that reflect motorbike speeds. Not only turn-by-turn navigation, but the direction results also include Google Street View image references, to help people with pre-trip planning and remember their routes.
Turn-by-turn voice directions
The company has rolled out a turn-by-turn voice navigation in the local language feature. The Google Maps voice navigation language is independent of your device’s language setting, so you could have voice-guided navigation in Bangla while continuing to use the Google Maps app in English. You can also change your phone language settings to “Bangla (Bangladesh)” and Maps voice navigation will automatically give you directions in Bangla.
The company also announced a safety feature built into Google Maps. Now, after searching for your destination and getting directions, you can enable this experience by selecting the “Stay safer” and “Set off-route alerts” option.
If your cab, rickshaw or ride-sharing driver deviates more than 0.5km from the Google Maps suggested route, your phone will buzz with a prominent notification, and you can tap it to see where you are compared to the original route. Then, you can also choose to share your live trip with friends and family directly from that screen so they know you are off route and can keep track of your journey, and take appropriate action if required.
The new features are now available to Android users in Bangladesh using the latest version of Google Maps.
Google has been investing aggressively in maps capabilities in Bangladesh. Since January 2018, Google has added more than 50,000km of roads, more than 8 million buildings, and more than 600,000 points of interests on Google Maps across Bangladesh.