During Google I/O 2023, Google announced a slew of artificial intelligence integrations across its products and services. So much so that many YouTubers have made funny compilations of all of the times “AI” was verbally spoken and as entertaining as that is, it’s true – AI is here to stay, and the tech giant is stepping into the ring at last. Whether or not you think it’s going about it irresponsibly despite its consistent talking points of the opposite, it’s obviously that Google is working hard to find ways to embrace its new DNA as an AI-first company.
Between Search gaining generative responses and tools, Messages, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Gmail all getting “Help me write” and other AI-driven features, and more, it’s been a wild ride. Now, Google Maps is using AI to become more immersive. In addition to Live View, Immersive View for places, and more, Maps will soon receive “Immersive View for routes”, allowing users to preview a 3D rendering of their route to a location before heading out.
Immersive View uses computer vision and AI to fuse billions of Street View and aerial images together to create a rich, digital model of the world. With this technology, you can see all the information you need about your route at once.The Keyword
In the preview video (shown above), Google showed off billions of Street View aerial images fused together to create a digital 3D version of the world around you. It then flew a camera through a pre-selected route, showing birds flying by, rain splashing on the camera lens, cars driving by an intersection, and more. It even shows weather as you travel that route, car accidents that have occurred, and more. It’s basically Google Maps, Google Earth, and a bit of cinematic flair all thrown together to give you a real sense of what that trip will end up being like.
Of course, it can’t account for new information that happens en route, like accidents that may occur and such – it’s not a psychic! Still, I guess it may come in handy for many people, especially those traveling long distances on unfamiliar routes that aren’t just to and from their workplace.
According to Google, Immersive View for routes is coming in the next few months for 15 cities including San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tokyo, Miami, New York City, Venice, Berlin, Dublin, Florence, Las Vegas, Amsterdam, London and Paris with a few of these immediately and the rest to follow before the end of 2023. At this time, there is no word on whether or not this feature will come to desktop – only mobile.
Let us know in the comments if you think this is interesting. I personally view it as a gimmick and a waste of time, as viewing traffic, weather and more can be done without the fancy AI and flocks of birds almost hitting you in the face, but oh well. It’s still cool I suppose.