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Huge Google Maps update reveals nearby bikes you can rent – and tells you if a journey is too tough

GOOGLE Maps is getting a huge update that cyclists will love – helping you find easy routes and local bikes to rent.

Loads of new features are being added today, and will be available as a free update on your gadget.

Google first added cycling directions to Maps 10 years ago, and it’s now available in nearly 30 countries.

But Google has finally decided that it’s time to give cycling some extra love in Maps with a major update.

One of the biggest changes is the addition of bike-sharing info.

When you look up biking directions, you’ll be able to find nearby docked bike-shares.

This includes walking directions to the bike-share station, bicycle availability, and where you can re-dock the bike.

You’ll also be redirected to the relevant bike-share app to book and unlock your bicycle.

The service works in several countries around the world, including the UK, USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Taiwan.

“People across the world are opting to hop on their bikes,” said Google.

“Especially with summer arriving in many parts of the world and more people looking for safer ways to get around.”

Google says that requested for cycling directions in Maps have jumped by 69% – hitting an all-time high last month.

As part of the update, Google will also be making significant improvements to biking routes.

Google says it’s using machine learning, algorithms and imagery to work out the best routes.

It’ll consider different types of bike lanes and local streets that aren’t great for cycling (like stairs or roads with a poor surface) so your journey will be as smooth as possible.

And Google will also show how flat or steep your route is, so you can tell what sort of journey you’re going to have.

If a route is too steep for you, it’s easy to change it and go a different way.

Lots of cities – including London – are currently expanding cycling networks, and Google says it’s “working to integrate hundreds fo thousands of new bike lanes in the coming months”.

You can get the new Google Maps update today.

 

In other news, a YouTube prankster created “traffic jams” on Google Maps using a trolley of 100 phones.

Check out the 10 secret Google Maps locations you’re not allowed to see.

And read about the Google Maps phantom island that disappeared in 2012.

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