Google Maps offers “Two-Wheeler” mode in India
Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google recently released a new feature on Google Maps, which specifically caters to residents of India (INDA). Google Map’s new feature is “Two-Wheeler mode,” which will be offered alongside Car, Foot, and Train modes.
Intended for motorcycle and scooter riders, this new mode shows navigation routes suitable for these vehicles. The new feature would update these riders on shortcuts, traffic, and narrow roads, which would help them save time and fuel.
Google’s Two-Wheeler mode is designed to work on version 9.67.1 of Google Maps for Android. Apple’s (AAPL) operating system iOS has yet to get the updated feature.
Google has always been keen on investments in emerging markets (EEM), and the Indian market has been a significant area of focus for Google. India is the first country to get this feature, as a sizeable population of the country commutes on motorcycles and scooters. The company expects the new feature to roll out soon in Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos.
Google stated at an event in New Delhi that about 70% of all registered vehicles in India are two-wheelers, which makes India the largest such market in the world. Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, revealed that the usage of Maps in India is rising and has doubled in the past year.
As a result, the launch of this feature in India makes sense to use machine learning to provide directions for riders and accurately predict speed and routes fit for two-wheeled vehicles.
Google, which competes with Facebook (FB) for ad revenues, is expected to gain ad revenues from this new update. The chart above shows how Facebook has a sizeable lead over Google in this market.