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This article was published on June 23, 2020

Apple supercharges its maps with EV and bicycle routing options in select cities

Making sustainable transport more practical, thanks Apple

Apple supercharges its maps with EV and bicycle routing options in select cities
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

At Apple’s WWDC last night, the iPhone maker announced that it would finally be adding cycling directions to its default Maps app in iOS 14. It’s also adding a routing feature to help electric vehicle drivers plan trips around charging locations.

Considering this feature has been in other map apps for a while, it’s good that Apple has finally got on board with making navigating by bicycle simpler and more practical.

[Read: It’s official: Apple CarKey exists — and the BMW 5 Series gets first dibs]

According to The Verge, when planning a bicycle route, users will be able to see elevation changes, and choose whether to ride around hills or take flights of stairs to save time on their journey.

The main downside is that Apple is only launching the feature in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Beijing to begin with. There’s also no mention of when a fully international roll out will be complete. I guess we’ll stick to Google Maps, Strava, or Komoot for now.

Electrified maps

Apple is also adding an “EV routing” feature to iOS 14. In short, this will let electric vehicle drivers plan a route around where they can stop to recharge on their journey. An undeniably important feature for EV owners.

Previously, the app only let users plan directions to and from one charging location, but now they will be able to add multiple stations to a single route. They’ll also be able to add charging locations on the fly, The Verge reports.

Apple says that it takes things like current vehicle charge, charger type, and route characteristics to decide which compatible chargers to visit. While that sounds great, it needs a lot of input from EV manufacturers, so for now the feature is restricted just to Ford and BMW vehicles. That said, most satellite navigation system in EVs have similar features already, and we can always use Zap-Map or Open Charge Map.

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