Google Maps Street View returns to India alongside new features

Google Maps navigation
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google India has announced new features coming to Google Maps.
  • The search giant will be relaunching Street View to Google Maps in India.
  • The feature rollout was initially halted back in 2016, citing security reasons.

Google has announced new collaborations with local entities in India to build a better Maps experience. As part of the announcement, Street View is returning to Google Maps in the region. Google has also partnered with India's traffic authorities to showcase speed limits in select cities on Google Maps.

Starting today, Google Maps users in India will get to use the Street View feature again with "fresh images." The images are said to be licensed by local tech giants like Genesys International and Tech Mahindra. "Our India launch marks the first time in the world that Street View data collection is being brought to life completely by local partners," Google mentioned in its accompanying blog post.

Google Maps New Features India

(Image credit: Google)

The new imagery included from Google's partners comprises over 150,000 kilometers across 10 prominent cities in India, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Nashik, Vadodara, Ahmednagar, and Amritsar. Google plans to expand this list to 50 cities by the end of this year. 

Genesys International says it was "the first Indian firm to perform street imaging of all major cities in India" and that it's honored to be involved with the new Street View rollout. Tech Mahindra also suggests that their "partnership with Google is another step toward delivering high-quality and immersive mapping experiences to the people of India."

According to a Gadgets360, Tech Mahindra is said to be deploying SUVs equipped with cameras to capture images in crowded places for better imagery.

For local developers to take advantage of Street View, the search giant assures them that they'll be able to utilize the Street View API, which they can incorporate into their apps and services.

For those unaware, Google Street View was first launched in 2011, although its full rollout in India was denied by the Government of India in 2016, citing security reasons. However, with this launch, Google's partners will carry out the data collection related to Street View.

If you're amongst the above-outlined cities in India, launching Street View on Google Maps is relatively simple. Users can zoom in and tap any road across the aforementioned cities that they want to view. It lets users navigate around the city or a street by giving a 360-degree view that further makes the experience richer and immersive, giving users a better idea of the area before they arrive.

Google Maps New Features India

(Image credit: Google)

Google Maps has always been the de facto navigation application for all Android phones and many iOS devices across the planet, including India. As part of the announcement, a couple of additional features are arriving for Google Maps in India. The application will showcase speed limit information shared by local traffic authorities, starting with Bengaluru and Chandigarh, with plans to launch in additional cities.

Google also highlights the work it's done to reduce traffic light congestion in Bengaluru, thanks to machine learning and its partnership with local traffic police. According to Google, this has helped reduce congestion by 20%, and the company plans to extend this pilot to additional cities.

The last feature the search giant is enabling for Google Maps in India is its new "Air Quality" option, thanks to a partnership with the Central Pollution Control Board, so users can quickly view air quality conditions before their commute.

Google Maps New Features India

(Image credit: Google)

And to help facilitate a more sustainable environment for future generations, Google is rolling out its Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) tool in Aurangabad, which helps local officials measure and identify ways to reduce emissions. This tool is already available in Bengaluru, Chennai, and Pune to help cities pinpoint sustainable solutions for travel.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.