You’re in. Get ready to try the new Google Maps

We were very excited to wake up this morning to this email from Google. Last week after the announcement from Google on all the new features we signed up for Beta testing straight away. 

The new Google Maps are­­­­­­­ ­very sleek; they integrate your search into the map. I am using the example of finding an Italian restaurant in Dublin, press search and all your options are now on front of you on the map, click on them and the information box is shown in the top left hand corner including reviews from fellow Google users, making the maps very user friendly and social. The option for directions is given to you in the information card, also allowing you to save home and work so you can quickly find your way to and from your destination. Another cool feature is the live traffic updates for the area you are searching. 

Not Hungry? Fancy a trip to Croke Park or maybe you would love to go to the zoo? Well now you can do it without ever leaving your desk, thanks to the new Google Maps. 

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Fancy being driven to work not in, but by your car?

Well, Google is one step closer to making this a reality – by introducing it’s new self-driven cars on the roads of America – developed by Stanford Professor and Vice President of Google – Sebastian Thrun.  The vehicles have been licensed to legally drive on the highways of Nevada – the first of which is a Toyota Prius.  

The cars themselves rely on a number of elements to ensure that they are safe – from radar sensors to a series of lasers, video cameras and also on a large database collected by real world drivers.   So far, self driven cars have travelled on, amongst others, the Pacific Coast Highway and the Golden Gate Bridge.  

With the prevalence, and the incredible detail being poured into Google Maps, self-driven cars were really only a matter of time.  It will be quite interesting, from a safety point of view in the future to see how successful these cars are – especially in terms of the reaction time of a computer versus a human.  

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