General

Google maps introduces motorcycle-specific settings

But do they actually work?

MOTORCYCLING is a quick and easy way of getting from A to B.

You can save hours on commuting time, and actually have fun on your way to work. It’s little wonder the number of powered two-wheelers there are on London’s streets.

But when it comes to negotiating the capital, bikers almost need The Knowledge to work out the quickest route from A to B. Few SatNavs offer motorcycle-specific routes, and online maps threaten to send you on a 40-mile detour around the M25.

But there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Google Maps has introduced a motorcycle-specific commuting mode. Accessible in ‘Settings > Commute > How do you commute?’, this setting claims to offer ‘updates on travel times, traffic and delays’.

Now, Google actually launched a Motorcycle Mode in India at the end of last year, which works to find the most efficient route to a destination, taking into account smaller roads which are inaccessible to larger vehicles.

Unfortunately, this isn’t what we’re getting in the UK. In fact, the ‘motorcycle commuting’ function seems to do very little. I compared a journey time from Guildford to St Pauls – a route that takes me about 45 minutes on a bike during rush hour – with both commuting by car and by motorcycle. Both options gave me exactly the same route and ETA – 1hr33 (leaving at 10:15am).

This function does offer information on motorcycle parking at the destination, which is certainly helpful, but aside from that I’ve yet to find anything that differs from the ‘commuting by car’ setting.

We can only hope that this is the start of Google Maps acknowledging two-wheelers…

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