Google is going to the Jungle with a local accent, ‘casual’ transit routes

LAGOS (Reuters) – Commuters are making their way through Nigeria, and should travel in one of the local voices for Google Maps in the framework of new features aimed at attracting more and more users in Africa have been unveiled by the company Wednesday.

FILE IMAGE: The Google logo is displayed at the entrance of the Google offices in London, united Kingdom, January 18, 2019. (REUTERS photo/Hannah McKay/File Photo

The local features have been revealed at an event held in the commercial capital, Lagos, and will also be available on the Google Assistant, which is the first step of the U.S. technology giant to offer a service of this kind in Africa.

A rapidly growing population, the increasing penetration rate of mobile phones, as well as busy towns and cities, which are often of poor quality have led technology companies to identify and African countries as potential growth markets.

After all, they have the provision of transportation, with detailed maps of the bike-to-car-derived services. The Google vehicle directions will also be made available in the Republic of Benin, Ghana, Rwanda, Togo, Uganda, on Wednesday, the company said.

The technology behemoth, the property of the English Alphabet Inc., said that its aim is to capture the users and to expand its appeal beyond just the drivers.

“There are 10 million motorbikes in Nigeria, it has been very popular,” said Ramesh Nagarajan, Google’s director of product management. “We have to go to the market and the market on the basis of their popularity.”

In the next few months, the maps will also allow users to be in Lagos to search for clues as to what she calls the “informal transit” – such as the yellow danfo minibuses, which were almost in every road in the city of Lagos, but it is hard for anyone outside the company or even the Lagosians travelling to a new area in order to find the information.

Google has entered into a partnership with a local startup, the Way Preppers Technologies, Ltd. in order to gather information about the different routes in the area, and its purpose is to allow users to tell you what the best options are available to you on the basis of prevailing road, weather, and road conditions.

“What we really hope is for the people who are making it possible to make a trip to an unfamiliar city, it might be on a journey, they usually do not have to take in order to be able for you to discover the info that they can need to have to make that trip,” said Jeff Albertson, a Google senior product manager who has worked on the development.

The map below provides information on the estimated fare, travel time, and even take photos from the bus stop to help commuters. Outside the city of Lagos, Google expands its street view imagery to Abuja, Benin-City, Enugu, and Ibadan.

Google has been working hard to expand in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria, the continent’s most populous country, with approximately 190 million inhabitants.

Last year, it unveiled the Wi-fi “hot spots” in the city of Lagos, and in 2017 given the go-ahead for a programme to train millions of people in technical skills, in order to make them more employable.

Google declined to say what kind of return on investment was a new development.

The writing, by Libby George,; Editing by Alexis Akwagyiram and Jan Harvey

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