Riders Rejoice: Google Maps ‘motorcycle mode’ goes live in Hong Kong

Photo: Christopher Burns via Unsplash
Photo: Christopher Burns via Unsplash

In a blessing that motorcyclists didn’t know they needed, Google has rolled out a new feature on Google Maps: Motorbike Mode.

Here’s the thing. Riding on a motorbike is a faster mode of commute, with pesky traffic jams not being that much of an issue thanks to the ability to ride in between lanes. Aside from being much cheaper than purchasing cars here, let’s be honest, motorcycles are just way cooler.

But all this while, Google Maps — the default GPS service used by most riders here — provides navigation that caters to drivers of cars and other four-wheelers.

With the new “motorbike mode”, however, riders will get more accurate traveling and arrival times based on machine learning models that reflect actual motorbike speeds and take into account lane-filtering rules. The feature will also steer riders away from restricted roads where motorcycles aren’t allowed while showing additional routes best suitable for bikers.

This will make a huge difference to two-wheelers of course — especially so to the thousands of deliverymen and dispatch riders who rely on accurate navigation and estimated times of arrival.

Screenshot via Google Maps.

According to Google, the feature was built specifically for motorcyclists in the Asia-Pacific, and was first developed in India, where narrow roads that can accommodate two-wheeler vehicles are aplenty. The very welcome Google Maps feature is gradually going live across Hong Kong and other countries in the region, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, as well as Taiwan.

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