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Google Maps for iPhone gets speedometer and speed limits update

Google Maps Speed Limits

iPhone owners using Google Maps to navigate to their destination can now avoid potential speed tickets. That's because the navigation app is rolling out support for speedometer and speed limits globally on iOS and CarPlay.

Google confirmed the latest move to TechCrunch after the outlet spotted these speeding features in India. However, the features aren't new and Android users have enjoyed them for the last five years. Google launched speedometer and speed limits for Android in 2019 and expanded it to over 40 countries.

As the name suggests, the speedometer in Google Maps is meant to give you an idea of how fast you're driving. When you're in a moving vehicle, the feature displays your approximate driving speed in the distance metric you have chosen in the app.

Note that the numbers displayed by the speedometer may differ from your actual speed. Also, Google cautions in a support page:

Speedometers shown in the Google Maps app are for informational use only. Make sure to use your vehicles's speedometer to confirm your actual driving speed.

On the other hand, the Speed Limits feature displays the applicable speed limits on the road you're driving and changes colors to alert you if it senses you're going past the legal threshold. However, the speed limits feature may not be available in all locations.

You can turn on these features on Google Maps for iOS. Tap on your profile picture in the top-right corner > Settings > Navigation. Scroll down and enable the toggle buttons "Show speed limits" and "Show speedometer."

Google Maps speed limit and speedometer

Speeds Limits in Google Maps can come in handy if you're driving on an unknown road or in bad weather where road signs are not clear. If you're wondering how Google knows about the speed limit in a particular area, the search giant has multiple ways to find out.

Firstly, it sources data from local government bodies to identify speed limits in an area. To make up for the lack of information and other nuances, Google uses a combination of artificial intelligence to analyze image data from Street View and third parties. Google explains:

For example, signs in the U.S. might have “speed limit” written on them, while signs in Germany might only show the number. Once the AI model identifies a sign, we use GPS information from the image to match it to its exact geographic location so we know precisely when to change the speed limit displayed to you on Google Maps based on where you are on your route.

Google also analyzes traffic trends at regular intervals to know if there is a change in speed limit in a particular area and updates the data after cross-referencing from other sources. Not just Maps, the speed limit data can power other technologies. For instance, self-driving cars and assisted driving features need to know the speed limits just like humans.

Source: TechCrunch

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