Google today launched a brand new feature, “motorcycle mode” to help Malaysian motorcyclists better navigate traffic across the country.
Google Maps already has a number of features to help Malaysians reach their destination including a new feature that helps transit riders to never miss their stop as Google Maps will send an alert for when to get off. But until now, there was no dedicated navigation mode for the millions of registered motorcycles in the country.
Malaysia has many commuters that choose to ride as a way to cut through heavy traffic especially during rush hour. They check on the weather and traffic conditions and then decide whether to take their car or motorcycle that day. It’s a popular lifestyle choice for many households – that’s why there are nearly as many registered motorcycles as there are registered cars in Malaysia. 12.9 Million vs 13 Million. (source: Malaysian Automotive Association)
Since lane splitting is allowed on Malaysian roads, motorcycles are able to move at different speeds, usually faster than four-wheelers in heavy traffic. Motorcycles also have specific differences — there are road segments where motorcycles aren’t allowed.
Previously, riders would have to do a mental calculation to estimate their arrival times based on a combination of walking and driving routes. But no longer, the new Google Maps motorcycle mode feature helps out by delivering:
More accurate travel times based on machine learning models that reflect riding speeds. The estimation improves the more people use it.
Landmark-based navigation: directions include prominent landmarks that help people with pre-trip planning to orient themselves and remember their routes.
Here is how Google Maps motorcycle mode navigation looks like:
Director, Google Maps for Next Billion Users Suren Ruhela said: “We want to provide the most local and relevant experience to meet people’s needs. We’re pleased to offer a new feature that we hope makes getting around on a motorcycle in Malaysia a little easier. We want to help riders get to where they want to go reliably and confidently and keep Malaysia on the move.”
Here’s an additional Googlegram on some of the other minor features that recently rolled out on Maps.
Last month, they introduced new ways to experience your city with people Maps – helping you find the best spots to eat, drink, and play based on the things you’re into. Many of these features have started to roll out on Android devices worldwide on June 12.