Google is rolling out a new update to Google Maps to help users travel safely during the holiday season. The update brings more information to the COVID layer, live status of takeout and delivery orders, an early preview of Assistant driving mode, and more.
Improved COVID layer
In September, Google Maps gained a COVID layer that shows weekly averages of new COVID cases across 220 countries. The company is now updating the feature to show more information such as all-time detected cases in an area and quick links to COVID resources from local authorities. Google says the improvement will make its way to the Maps app on Android and iOS in the coming weeks.
Live Crowd Information
Google Maps is globally rolling out a convenient feature – live crowd information. Going forward, you will be able to see how crowded your bus, train, or metro is, based on real-time feedback from Google Maps users. The accuracy of the results, however, will depend on how popular/frequently visited the place is.
Live Status of Takeout and Delivery Orders
If you’re in the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, Brazil, or India, you can now view the live status of takeout and delivery orders when you order from Google Maps on Android and iOS. In addition, you will see the expected wait times and delivery fees. The company is also rolling out the option to view restaurant reservation status in 70 countries.
Google Assistant Driving Mode
After being announced at Google I/0 2019 and getting spotted multiple times, Google has started rolling out an early preview of the long-awaited Assistant driving mode in Maps. It is currently available just for Android users in English in the United States. With Assistant-powered driving mode, you can use your voice to send and receive calls & texts. You can also make the Assistant read your message out loud without having to look at the phone.
Driving mode also integrates with music providers for media consumption, all without leaving the navigation screen. If you’re in the U.S, you can enable driving mode by starting navigation and tapping on the pop-up that urges you to enable the feature. Alternatively, you can open Assistant settings on your Android phone, followed by enabling the feature from Getting around-> Driving mode.