Friday, 02 April 2021 10:18

Google Maps on track to have ‘100 AI-powered improvements’

US digital giant Google unveiled on Tuesday (30 March) new features for its Google Maps app that will make use of artificial intelligence (AI). EURACTIV France reports.

“This year, we’re on track to bring over 100 AI-powered improvements to Google Maps so you can get the most accurate, up-to-date information about the world, exactly when you need it,” Dane Glasgow, vice president of products at Google Maps, wrote in a statement.

Among the new features, Google Maps wants to use AI to help its users reduce their carbon footprint by taking into account fuel consumption based on road inclination or traffic jams when the app suggests a route.

“Soon, Google Maps will default to the route with the lowest carbon footprint when it has approximately the same ETA (estimated time of arrival) as the fastest route.” the statement added.

The move echoes Google’s commitment to be the first multinational to go carbon-free by 2030.

MEPs call for greater regulation of AI discrimination

The European Parliament’s culture and education committee endorsed on 15 March an opinion calling for a framework to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) in order to “reduce gender, social or cultural bias in technology”, and the European Commission is expected to propose a legislative framework for the matter in April. EURACTIV France reports.

The new route suggestions should also include weather conditions – “so you’ll never be caught in the rain without an umbrella” the US giant boasts – but also information on air quality, “especially useful if you suffer from allergies or are in an area prone to smog or fires.”

Google has also announced it is working on a system to alert drivers when they enter a low-emission zone so they can make sure there are no restrictions against their vehicle.

Google also said it wants to improve navigation, especially indoors, with so-called “global localization” technology for its Live View feature.

“Thanks to new advancements that help us understand the precise altitude and placement of objects inside a building, we’re now able to bring Live View to some of the trickiest-to-navigate places indoors: airports, transit stations, and malls,” Galsgow added.

Google challenges French data watchdog’s €100 million fine in court

France’s administrative court known as the Council of State considered on Thursday an application for interim measures filed by Google LLC and Google Ireland after the French Data Protection Authority known as the CNIL fined the digital giant €100 million last December for its cookie collection policy. EURACTIV France was at the hearing.

[Edited by Benjamin Fox]