Google Maps to add motorbike mode

Quad Lock mobile phone mount beeline maps

Google Maps introduced a two-wheeler mode for motorcycles and scooters for India in December 2017, but it may soon be coming to other countries including Australia.

Google Maps currently provides travel routes, navigation and travel time estimates for public transport, bicycles, cars and walking, depending on your device.

Google Australia communications manager Kristine Arnott says India is the only country with two-wheeler mode, but that could soon change.

“We look forward to bringing two-wheeler mode to additional countries in the coming months,” she says.

Google Maps two-wheeler mode

Google Maps two-wheeler mode
Google Maps two-wheeler mode

Two-wheeler mode gives riders more route choices, more accurate times that take account of lane filtering rules and shows major landmarks along the route to help riders who rely on them for visual navigation cues.

“Two-wheeler mode differs from driving mode in terms of both the routes a rider may be offered, and the ETAs they will see,” Kristine says.

“Routes for two-wheelers take account of roads on which travel by two-wheelers is legally prohibited by local authorities, and they also take advantage of a greater portion of the overall street grid when suggesting potential routes.

“This allows a rider to, in many cases, use smaller side roads to complete their journey more directly and in less time, whereas we’d rarely route a car along these same narrow side roads.

“Also, we estimate road speeds for two-wheelers separately than for cars, resulting in ETAs that should be more accurate for a two-wheeler than the driving ETA would be for that same two-wheeler – particularly if the route passes through areas of heavy traffic congestion, where a car may get stuck but a two-wheeler can pass by more easily.”

With many riders now choosing to use their phone for navigation rather than a dedicated motorbike GPS, two-wheeler mode would be most welcome.Quad Lock mobile phone mount

British riders have already started an online petition to have the two-wheeler mode added to their Google Maps.

8 Comments

  1. I use Google maps when riding and just listen to her voice……it is very helpful..when planning a trip I use the Tyretotravel programme which is great….. I fined that the Google maps when putting in several planned destinations in a row it will only go to the first destination and I have to stop riding to restart it, and it is frustrating when you have 6 or 7 destinations for the one trip. hope this improves

  2. Id be more interested in a pure Audio mode with voice guidance. I am not keen on putting my phone on my handlebars and be looking down all the time. I currently navigate just off the voice prompts but they are too far apart since you cant have a quick look at the screen.

    This will be a welcome addition when it arrives.

  3. My wife’s HTC died a few years ago in the harsh Queensland sun, so I won’t risk killing another $800 phone. The other issue is that I can’t see the screen on a smartphone in the full sun.
    So as far as I am concerned this addition makes no difference until they make robust smartphones. I know some manufacturers have played with the idea of using an ipad for the display on the bike and presumably those would be specially made to cope with the sun issue, until then I pass.

  4. The left image on the google maps (India) two wheeler mode seems to show a different language (I am guessing Russian or Ukrainian) on one area. Looks like a bug. Okhla is in New Delhi, India.

  5. The last time I used google maps to plot a route it wanted me to drive through someone’s house. That was ten or so years ago and there is still no road.
    I really hope that they pay more attention to whether a road is built or merely planned.

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