Google Maps is ready for the world to reopen: The navigation platform has reportedly developed new “first mile” transportation features and a revamped user interface. In a series of Saturday tweets, tech blogger and app researcher Jane Manchun Wong revealed a handy plan for route options with “connections to public transit.”
Ideal for commuters who need to make their way to the bus, subway, or train station, this filter would allow users to choose the preferred mode of transportation for the first (or possibly last) leg of their journey. Options include car, bicycle, motorcycle, auto rickshaw, or ride service.
Google also wants to provide better insights into ridesharing fares, Wong noted, highlighting a preference that allows Maps to “get more accurate fares [and] share your route information” with Uber. There is no word on which other platforms may get onboard. The firm may also be working on deeper integration for Lyft-owned bike-sharing service Bay Wheels.
Among the UI changes Wong spotted are a new search bar—which “looks rounder” and includes the new Maps logo and the user’s profile picture—and changes to “place” cards to include common review terms. It’s unclear when, or even if, any of these features will roll out publicly. Google did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.
As US COVID-19 lockdown rules ease and more people head back to restaurants, stores, cinemas, and mass transit systems, Google Maps wants to serve as your one-stop-shop for important travel information. A recent update to the iOS and Android apps now show relevant alerts from local transit agencies, like whether you need to wear a mask on public transportation or should expect checkpoints and restrictions on your drive.