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Google Street View Gets First Camera Update in 8 Years with a Focus on AI

Using AI algorithms, new Google Street View cameras capture in HD on all sides and can read signs to update business information on the move.


Street View has been around for 10 years and has blown our minds consistently. Through the last decade, Google has been updating its service regularly. This has involved improving imaging, adding content, and mapping more areas. However, the company is now undertaking its most substantial update ever.

As mentioned, Google Street View imagery has been improved in the last 10 years. But during this time, Google has not improved its camera technology since 2009. To move Street View into newer territory, the company has designed a new camera which relies on AI algorithms.

This is arguably an essential upgrade. If we think back to 2009 (the last camera update), a lot has happened in the imaging field. To reflect this, Google is now mapping with a new camera that will transform Street View.

The new hardware capture HD views in panorama, allowing high-res imaging from all angles. Google has employed its extensive artificial intelligence research to add significant algorithms. Street View will use the AI to vastly improve key data.

Google Street View in HD
Google Street View in HD – Source: Wired

For example, place names, opening hours, payments, and more will be viewable. This information is usually available in windows as Street View vehicles pass. Currently, this fine detail is unavailable to the imaging technology. With the new algorithms, the AI will detect the information and improve Google Maps data.

Mapping with AI

The AI will also be used to improve the quality of imaging from mapping cars. Speaking to Wired, the company says the technology will also be benefit to company's developing autonomous vehicle technology.

Indeed, to show this, Google says it is collaborating with Waymo (an Alphabet stablemate) on its self-driving technology.

The company says cars equipped with the new imagine hardware hit roads last month. They will gradually roll out and eventually will spread through the world. Google has a lot of ground to cover as Street View mapped 10 million miles of roads.

Google Street View in HD
Google Street View in HD- Source: Wired
Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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