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Google Maps launches features for real-time updates on public transports in India

Next time you aboard a bus or plan for a train journey, check Google Maps. This might just make your journey efficient and seamless.

The tech behemoth has launched three new features- bus travel times from live traffic in 10 of the largest cities in India, live train status for Indian Railways trains, and mixed-mode commute suggestions that now combine auto-rickshaw and public transport, to let Indian users optimise travel plans by predicting transit time while traveling.

On buses, Google map, via live traffic data and public bus schedules, will enable users to know how long a bus trip will take when factoring in live traffic conditions, as per Google. This feature is being launched in 10 cities including Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Chennai, Mysore, Coimbatore, and Surat.

The second feature will provide real-time status of trains, within the app. It was developed in partnership with the Where is My Train app, which was acquired by Google in December 2018. The acquisition has helped the tech behemoth leverage Google’s ‘Next Billion Users’ initiative.

Whereas third feature, mixed-mode commute suggestions, will tell commuters how to cover small distances via auto-rickshaw and other public transport. The feature is live in two cities – Delhi and Bengaluru.

India is one of the top three countries for Google Maps transit usage. The search engine behemoth has over 300 million users in the country. At present, Google Map has more than 10,000 routes for which it can predict the transit time accurately. It will be available on Android and iPhones.

Earlier, it had added features such as reporting traffic congestion and accidents. The app also allows users to share their live location with friends and family.

Early this year, Google Maps rival Apple Maps launched new feature supporting turn-by-turn navigation, and also let users book ride-hailing services from within the app. Apple has also been on a hiring spree to expand its products in India.

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