Lonely Planet Writer

Google Maps has introduced new features for motorcyclists and car drivers in Indonesia

Visitors to Indonesia may be able to move more quickly around the country from now on. Google Maps has introduced a number of upgrades to its functions in the Asian country, aimed at helping both motorcyclists and car drivers move more efficiently in Indonesia.

Motorbikes are very popular modes of transport in Indonesia. Image: Herianus Herianus / EyeEm

Noting on its blog that motorcycles outnumber cars by seven to one on the streets, Google Maps says that the two-wheeled vehicles often drive at different speeds to cars. As a result, it has introduced a ‘motorcycle mode’ to its app to recognise that motorcycles have specific needs. “Motorists can take routes that can not be passed by cars such as narrow streets and alleys,” it says. “There are also certain roads that motorcycles can not pass, such as toll roads.” The company said that the two-wheeler feature will use machine learning based on motorcycle speeds to estimate more accurate travel times for riders. Other updates include collaborating with ride-sharing services to make it easier to find ojeks or taxis.

Google Maps has introduced motorcyle mode in Indonesia. Image: Marianna Massey

Google Maps has also introduced a feature designed to help drivers in Jakarta to find alternative routes during the odd-even licence plate hours. This system was first implemented in August 2016, and during those hours, cars with licence plates ending in even numbers can use the roads on even number dates on weekdays from 7am to 10am and 5pm to 7.30pm. Google Maps will ask users to choose either the odd or even car licence plate, and if the car can’t pass the route at that time, it will redirect it to an alternative route.

Downtown Jakarta in Indonesia. Image: amadeustx/Shutterstock

There is also a feature to help users find alternative routes for users driving during Car Free Day. While launching the functions, Google product management vice-president, Caesar Sengupta, said that the motorcycle mode function will be rolled out to more countries in the coming months.