In a press release today, Google India has announced that Indian users would receive voice guided Lane guidance in 20 cities. Google map users on Android and iOS would be able to use this feature in their mobile device. The voice guided navigation will also instruct users to stay on appropriate lanes, whenever and wherever it is relevant. The feature is now available in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Mysore, Nagpur, Pune, Surat, Thiruvananthapuram, Vadodara and Visakhapatnam. It will also be available for travelers in major National highways. I am little skeptical about this feature because Indian roads don’t have clear lane markings. Also the concept of lane by itself would be something alien to most of us Indian road drivers. Anyways technology enablement is always a welcome change. Changing the mentality of the mass is totally another story.
Along with the lane guidance, now Google Maps can speak Hindi. The voice guided navigation can be configured to speak in Hindi.
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Full Press Release
Bangalore, January 15, 2015: Today Google introduced a new lane guidance feature for Google Maps on Android and iOS in India. With the Google Maps app for iPhone/iPad and Android, users will now be able to see and hear voice-guided instructions signaling which lane they should stay in or move to while in Navigation mode.
Lane guidance within Google Maps for mobile will be available for major roads across 20 Indian cities: Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Mysore, Nagpur, Pune, Surat, Thiruvananthapuram, Vadodara and Visakhapatnam. Drivers will also be able to receive lane guidance on major Indian expressways, including the Mumbai-Pune expressway.
Starting today, drivers in India can enjoy the turn-by-turn, voice-guided instructions in English as well as Hindi. Hindi speakers can choose to set Hindi as their preferred language by selecting the Hindi option within the “Language and input” menu found in their phone’s Settings menu. In addition to the English and Hindi voice guidance, users can also opt into the English (India) language preference on their phones to hear the voice-guided instructions spoken back to you in English in the Indian accent.
Commenting on the launch, Suren Ruhela, Director Product and Program Management, Google said, “Our goal is to continue making Google Maps for mobile into a handy travel companion for your daily commutes and trips around India, and we hope the new lane guidance will help make road travels easier to navigate for English and Hindi speaker across the country.”
Today’s launch of lane guidance within Google Maps for mobile is the latest effort in series of initiatives to make Google Maps more useful for users in India. In July 2014, Google launched Google Maps in Hindi so that people could see Hindi names for cities, localities, important roads, as well as popular points of interest such as public parks and schools, on Google Maps.