The Indian market has been a major area of focus for Google and it seems that the latest feature in Google Maps is an indicator of the same. Some users in India are reporting seeing a new Motorcycle mode or Two-Wheeler mode in the latest version of Google Maps (v9.67.1) for Android. The new mode is seen placed alongside the earlier alternatives – Car, Foot, and Train. We’re seeing the new mode too, on the latest version of the Android app.
First reported by Android Police, the publication got a hold of screenshots from one such user in India and the photos show that the new Motorcycle mode has been incorporated to help bikers in the country find the route most suitable for their vehicles. Launching such a product in India makes sense as a substantial chunk of the country’s workforce travels on motorbikes and there are quite a few routes that are not wide enough for a bigger vehicle to fit in. We’ve reached out to Google for comment on the launch, and will update this article when we hear back.
The report also claims that there have been sightings of the mode only by Indian users, making it the first market for the feature. We had recently Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s comments about India playing an important role in improving Google Maps and other Google products.
The mode is fairly intuitive – according to the screenshots – and informs bikers about all possible road closures along the way. It also gives information about the parking situation at their destination, a handy feature that was previously seen in the car mode.
Android Police notes that Motorcycle Mode has popped up in the source code for some of the previous versions but this is the first time that we are seeing it go live with the latest version.