News Report Google launched several new features to Google Maps for the convenience of the people of Bangladesh at a launching event at a city hotel on Tuesday. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for ICT Division, attended the event as chief guest. From now on, riders will get better journey time estimates and suggested routes best suited to bikes. The people will now have the option of getting their navigation cues in Bangla. Some of the features were made available for the local users recently but the formal announcement came from Tuesday. In a press conference, Google's regional officials showcased the new three features. Google also informed it has added more than 50,000KM of roads, more than 8 million buildings, and more than 600,000 points of interests on Google Maps across Bangladesh since January 2018. As the popularity of ride-sharing services increases, everyone now will have the option of double-checking their commute and sharing the trip with friends and family. This safety feature triggers an audible alert if there is greater than a 0.5km deviation from the suggested route. Google Maps now features a new navigation mode for motorcycle riders. Motorcycles also have specific needs. They can take routes that cars cannot take such as narrow roads and alleys. There are also some roads (e.g. highways) where two-wheelers are not allowed. Motorcycles often move at different speeds than cars. Previously, riders would need to do a mental calculation to estimate their arrival times based on a combination of walking and driving routes, but this new feature delivers more accurate travel times based on machine learning models that reflect motorcycle speeds and routes. Krish Vitaldevara, director product management, Google Maps, Anal Ghosh, senior program manager, Google Maps (South Asia), Bickey Russell, business and operations lead, Google, and Jessica Bayern, business development and operations, Google were also present. Zunaid said: "Google and its services such as Maps have become an integral part of our daily lives in Bangladesh, helping us search for places, getting directions and avoiding traffic for millions of citizens every day. The availability of voice navigation in Bangla, integrating safety features, and the launch of the motorcycle mode will further contribute towards increasing access to the benefits of these technologies for our fellow Bangladeshis across the socio-economic spectrum." Krish Vitaldevara, director product management, Google Maps commented: "We want to provide the most local and relevant experience to meet people's needs so we hope that by providing a customized experience for motorcycles, adding Bangla voice navigation, and providing an extra option for commuter safety makes getting around Bangladesh easier and more helpful." Since January 2018, Google has added more than 50,000km of roads, more than 8 million buildings, and more than 600,000 points of interests on Google Maps across Bangladesh. The new features are now available to Android users in Bangladesh using the latest version of Google Maps.


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