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- Google maps will now help electric vehicles find charging stations more quickly.
- Its new features will deploy artificial intelligence to assist EV drivers looking to power up.
- A “very fast charging filter” can help EVs charge in a hurry, Google Geo head Chris Phillips said.
Google Maps will soon have AI-driven features to help electric vehicles power up quickly.
At a Google presentation in Paris on Wednesday, the head of the company’s maps division, Chris Phillips, said that upgrades to its maps tool will cater to electric vehicle drivers looking to charge their vehicles more easily.
The advanced features will use artificial intelligence to find nearby charging stations, including stores that have them. They will also include a “new very fast charging filter” that he said can help the car power up and get going again “in less than 40 minutes.”
“As we’re seeing more drivers embrace electric vehicles, we’re launching new maps features for EVs with Google built in, to make sure you have enough charge no matter where you’re headed,” Phillips said. “We’ll use AI to suggest the best charging stop.”
The new feature, which will be available in coming months for cars with Google built in, could help address driving range anxiety and facilitate EV adoption.
While EV range continues to improve, charging infrastructure still poses a major hurdle for electric-vehicle adoption. Insider’s Dominick Reuter previously reported that in 2021, one in five California EV owners had switched back to gas cars because charging represented too much of a “hassle.”
While many EV drivers charge their vehicles at home, longer drives necessitate careful organization. EV drivers have told Insider in the past that taking long trips with an electric car requires planning charging pit stops down to the mile, and accounting for broken and slow chargers. Last year, a reporter from The Wall Street Journal said a lack of EV charging sites and accurate charging maps left her spending more time waiting for her car to charge then sleeping during a 2,000-mile road trip.
Google’s “very fast charging filter” could also help other EV companies compete with Tesla’s Supercharger network, which accounts for the majority of fast-charging stations in the US.
The Google presentation followed Microsoft’s event on Tuesday, in which it unveiled its “new Bing” search engine powered by OpenAI’s technology. Microsoft executive Yusuf Mehdi described it as a new “large language model that is more powerful than ChatGPT.”
The announcement marked what is widely seen as a battle between the tech giants to leverage artificial intelligence, like the generative AI tool ChatGPT, to boost search and other offerings.