Products

Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
Reports
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Forecasts
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Charts
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Briefings
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Methodology
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
Newsroom
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Events
Browse our upcoming and past webinars and other events.
Learn More
Podcasts
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

Google’s Maps looks to solidify its navigation dominance with AI-powered tools

Google unveiled several new features for its Maps app that utilize AI to improve and expand the user experience. The new features include an updated Live View that gives AR walking directions in large indoor spaces, eco-friendly map routes meant to reduce carbon emissions, in-app weather forecasts, and curbside delivery integration. Overall, Google says it aims to roll out more than 100 AI-based updates to Maps by the end of 2021. Here’s how a few of these new features work.

The updated Live View provides users with AR navigation in large indoor spaces like malls or airports.

  • The feature, first launched in 2019 on city streets via Street View, now offers users indoor AR directions by using AI to measure a user’s altitude and placement within a building.
  • Live View relies on “global localization”—a combination of Visual Positioning Service (VPS), Google Street View, and machine learning—which uses a phone’s camera to scan environmental images to determine a user’s precise position and orientation more accurately than GPS.
  • Indoor Live View is currently supported at some malls in several major US cities, and is expected to roll out in airports and train stations across Tokyo and Zurich in the coming months.

New “eco-friendly” options use AI to suggest less carbon-intensive routes.

  • Google says its new routing model automatically optimizes for lower fuel consumption based on metrics like road incline and traffic congestion.
  • That means users searching for a destination will receive by default the route with the lowest carbon footprint that is most comparable in time to the fastest route.
  • Maps will also use machine learning to determine a user’s preferred means of transportation—be that by car, bike, or public transit.

Google Maps’ dominance among navigation apps and high user base makes it a consequential test bed for new artificial intelligence-backed features. In August 2019, Google led all major navigation apps across iOS and Android in monthly unique visitors (126.2 million), according to Verto Analytics data on US smartphone users. By comparison, Apple Maps, which comes pre-installed on Apple devices, had just 29.3 million monthly unique visitors in the same period. While all major navigation app usage dipped during the pandemic, these new features could further entrench Google’s dominance in the space as use returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Google’s use of Big Data and AI to power its navigation features aligns with the overall strategy that has proved successful for the tech giant, but may leave it increasingly vulnerable to users’ evolving privacy preferences. For years, Google Maps has had the upper hand in terms of user adoption over its longtime competitor Apple Maps. During that time, Google has repeatedly focused on seamless integration with other Google products, data accumulation, and the introduction of new features, in contrast to Apple’s model, which tends to favor privacy, often at the expense of immediate innovation. So far, users have largely chosen the former, but evolving attitudes towards data privacy and skepticism of Big Tech may make data-intensive new features less attractive than before.