Google Maps Immersive view is now live, bringing new AI and AR features

The new Google Maps Immersive View on a Google Pixel 7 Pro
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Immersive View lets users virtually enter buildings in select cities in the Google Maps app and view them in full 3D.
  • Live View uses your phone's camera to provide turn-by-turn directions in cities, public transportation systems, and even airports.
  • EV owners can now more easily find charging stations while out and about.

Have you ever been to a new airport and found yourself totally lost? How about a new city with a confusing and complicated public transportation system? Or maybe you just need to know the best way to get from point A to point B without running out of charge in your new electric car? Google has all these things covered and more in the latest Google Maps update.

The headliner to all of this is Immersive View which the company originally announced back at Google I/O. Immersive View is now live in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo and can be used to dive deep into cities and virtually explore the interior of stores and restaurants without having to visit them first. If you've ever just wanted to sit in a cafe for a while but weren't sure about the seating arrangements, this is the feature for you.

You can also adjust the weather and time of day in real time when using Immersive View with NeRF technology. No, not the foam darts and plastic guns, NeRF stands for neural radiance fields. It's an AI technique that takes 2D pictures from different angles taken by phones and combines them to create a 3D representation of a scene, enabling users to walk or fly through it.

It's insanely impressive in motion, which you can see below. Immersive View will be coming to Florence, Venice, Amsterdam, and Dublin in the coming months.

Live View is being further expanded to include over 1,000 airports, train stations, malls, and other cities throughout the world.

Meanwhile, Maps is also getting better lock screen directions with glanceable information, so you won't have to unlock your phone just to know where to go. This will be available on iOS and Android phones in the coming months.

Lastly, Google is building on its eco-friendly routes feature with better information on chargers for electric vehicles (EVs). Cars with Android Automotive will now be able to calculate the best charging stops based on various factors while also making it easier to find faster charging stations. And when using Maps to search for locations, it will even show you when the places you're searching have charging stations to give you more peace of mind.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu