Mandalay — Google launched a brand new feature for its maps program called, “motorcycle mode” to help Myanmar motorcyclists better navigate traffic across the country.
Google Maps already has a number of features to help the people of Myanmar reach their destinations, but until now, there was no dedicated navigation mode for the millions of registered motorcycles in the country.
“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 Myanmar a little easier. We want to help riders get to where they want to go reliably and confidently and keep Myanmar on the move,” said Zeffri Yusof, Head of Communications, Emerging Markets at Google.
Residents of Myanmar towns and villages rely primarily on scooters or motorcycles for daily commute, but the popularity of leisure motorcycling is growing as well. Myanmar has many commuters that choose to ride motorcycles as a way to cut through heavy traffic especially during rush hour. They check on the weather and traffic conditions and then decide whether it’s a good time to take their motorcycle out that day.
Since lane splitting is allowed on Myanmar 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, including the city of Yangon — in which case we have restricted our routings accordingly.
Previously, riders would have to do a mental calculation to estimate their arrival times based on a combination of walking and driving routes. Not anymore, 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.