Google has launched several new features to Google Maps for the convenience of the people of Bangladesh at a launching event today at Lakeshore Hotel, Gulshan.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for ICT Division attended the event as the Chief Guest. Krish Vitaldevara, Director Product Management, Google Maps; Anal Ghosh, Senior Program Manager, Google Maps (South Asia); Bickey Russell, Business and Operations Lead, Google; and Jessica Bayern, Business Development & Operations, Google were also present.
Palak said, “We have made significant strides towards achieving the vision of a Digital Bangladesh. Our ICT sector and its growth is now considered a role model for developing nations across the world. The Government of Bangladesh will continue to encourage the creation of a thriving technology ecosystem in the country, which has already led to a significant increase in local and global investments entering the economy.”
“Google and it’s services such as Maps have become an integral part of our daily lives in Bangladesh, helping us search for places, getting directions and avoiding traffic for millions of citizens every day. I applaud Google for its dedicated efforts in mapping Bangladesh. The availability of voice navigation in Bangla, integrating safety features, and the launch of the motorcycle mode will further contribute towards increasing access to the benefits of these technologies for our fellow Bangladeshis across the socio-economic spectrum. We look forward to working with Google to bring more such features to Bangladesh and contributing to our growth story,” added he.
From now on, riders will get better journey time estimates and suggested routes best suited to bikes. The people will now have the option of getting their navigation cues in Bangla. As the popularity of ride-sharing services increases, everyone now will have the option of double-checking their commute and sharing the trip with friends and family. This safety feature triggers an audible alert if there is greater than a 0.5km deviation from the suggested route.
Regarding this, Krish Vitaldevara, Director Product Management, Google Maps commented: “We want to provide the most local and relevant experience to meet people’s needs so we hope that by providing a customized experience for motorcycles, adding Bangla voice navigation, and providing an extra option for commuter safety makes getting around Bangladesh easier and more helpful.”
Google Maps now features a new navigation mode for motorcycle riders. Motorcycles also 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.
Previously, riders would need to do a mental calculation to estimate their arrival times based on a combination of walking and driving routes, but this new feature delivers more accurate travel times based on machine learning models that reflect motorcycle speeds and routes.
The new features are now available to Android users in Bangladesh using the latest version of Google Maps.