A conversational Google Maps on the phone

Google Maps is one of the most-used apps on my phone. The traffic updates, the intelligent routing, the user experience. But wait, the user experience could be better, more intuitive and simpler by adding a bit of conversational AI.

It doesn’t need to be an audio conversation. Something that could summarise the myriad options and pieces of information displayed on the screen. As an example, when I first select a destination and tap ‘Directions’, it gives me 2 or 3 options. A recommended one in blue, a couple others in grey. That’s a good summary at times, but you have to dig in to find out what the differences are. Some routes have tolls, others have more traffic. Some are longer. Some even have road blocks.

If each route could have a one-line summary of what it is you’re getting into, would be a definite improvement. An example could be:

‘7% Shorter, but takes 4 mins more,  avoids road works on Pacific Highway’

Screen real estate comes at a premium on mobile devices, so it would take a bit of pixel juggling to find a suitable spot for this text. A couple of options could be to display this text upon tapping a route option, or the it could be audio’ed upon tapping.

Whatever the means of delivery, the route summary would help navigators make a decision quicker, as usually that’s the time when kids are making a rukus, and your wife is wondering aloud why we aren’t moving yet.