Now, a 'two-wheeler mode' in Google Maps

Now, a 'two-wheeler mode' in Google Maps

Google has come up with the two-wheeler mode for its eponymous maps.  

The feature,  part of the US-based technology giant's policy of giving thrust to India-first features,  could come in handy  in cities like Bengaluru that are notorious for their traffic jams.  

"India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world, and the millions of motorcycle and scooter riders have different navigation needs than drivers of automobiles," the company said in a blog.  

The two-wheeler mode in Google Maps shows trip routes that use shortcuts not accessible to cars and trucks, besides providing customised traffic and arrival time estimations. As most Indians rely on local landmarks for navigation, the two-wheeler mode is equipped to show them on the route.

Another India-first feature that Google came up last week is the special version of Google Assistant: Google Assistant for JioPhone, built for India in both English and Hindi. The product aims to bring the benefits of Google Assistant to millions of first-time internet users on JioPhone.  

"For the first time ever globally, the Google Assistant will be available on a feature phone. Whether in entry-level smartphones or JioPhones, it can help you call, text, play music and videos, and access other apps," said Gummi Hafsteinsson, Product Management Director at Google.  

This year, India crossed the 400-million internet user mark. And Indians are using more data than ever before - 4GB on average every month. The usage is  projected to grow to 11 GB per month in the next four years. According to analysts, this is one of the major reasons behind Google putting India-first thrust.  

In November, a Kannada version of Google Maps was launched.  According to an April 2017 study by KPMG and Google, 'Indian Languages – Defining India's Internet', Indian-language internet users have surpassed English internet users in the country. Kannada has the third highest Internet adoption levels (37%), after Hindi (39%) and Tamil (42%), the report shows.

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