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Google Maps Introduces Motorbike-Specific Navigation Mode in Vietnam

The feature was first developed in India.

According to The Verge, on July 8, Google Maps launched a 'motorbike mode' in its navigation feature in some Asia-Pacific countries including Vietnam. The mode will first come to the Google Maps app on phones that have Android system version 4.4 (KitKat) and up. It's unclear when the mode will come to iOS.

The new option will now allow the Maps app to take into account a motorbike's speed and provide more accurate estimated time of arrival. Driving instructions for shortcuts and narrow roads that a car can't access will be available, as well as guidance for avoiding toll roads.

The mode was first developed in late 2017 in India, the world's biggest market for two-wheeler vehicles. During a product launch event in Thailand, Google Head of Product Krish Vitaldevara said that because some roads and alleys in some many Asia-Pacific countries don't have actual names, the navigation will incorporate street view information to provide direction using 'landmarks.' This means that alongside with informing users where to go using street names, the direction also includes recognizable local buildings and landmarks. 

With approximately 85% of the population using motorbikes, the new routing mode could potentially be helpful to some Vietnamese commuters by reducing the hassle of having to check their phones regularly on the road.

The motorbike option is currently available in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Myanmar. 

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