You can now navigate tunnels on Google Maps for Android: Here's how

Only drawback is that this functionality will only be effective when tunnel is equipped with Bluetooth beacons
The image displays Google Maps app open on a mobile screen. — Pixabay
The image displays Google Maps app open on a mobile screen. — Pixabay

If you have ever dreamt of cruising through tunnels using navigation apps and with accuracy, then Google Maps seems well considerate to morphing this notion into reality.

A new Google Maps feature will allow you to navigate inside tunnels, taking full advantage of Bluetooth beacons which have long and widely prevailed in the relevant sphere.

As a common misery for everyone, going through a tunnel when you’re relying on directions via GPS is chaos while getting out of the tunnel. It's a rare instance that GPS will remember you’re on a road travelling through a tunnel and maintain the directions it was giving you when you went in, and sometimes it goes bad and provides miscalculated directions.

Read more: Google Maps update: Delete search history and photos in one tap

However, Google Maps is going to get better at showing directions inside tunnels. This new feature allows the Android version of the app to use Bluetooth beacons to track your location in areas where GPS signals don't reach, as reported by The Verge.

How Google Maps' Bluetooth beacons work

These signals, emitted by the beacons, send location information to your smartphone, as stated by Waze, a navigation app owned by Google that already incorporates this functionality. Subsequently, the application utilises this data, in conjunction with the mobile connectivity to “provide real-time traffic data as it would with a typical GPS connection.”

Waze, a navigation app owned by Google, has established collaborations with numerous cities worldwide, such as New York City, Chicago, Boston, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Brussels, and more, incorporating the installation of beacons.

The utilisation of similar beacons by Google Maps remains uncertain, given that both applications are under Google's ownership. We have contacted the company for additional details.

The downside of Bluetooth beacons

The only drawback is that this functionality will only be effective when the tunnel you're passing through is equipped with Bluetooth beacons.

How to enable Bluetooth tunnel beacons

To activate this feature in Google Maps, click on your profile in the top-right corner of the app, and go to Settings > Navigation Settings. 

After that, scroll to the bottom of the page, switch on Bluetooth tunnel beacons, and grant permission when prompted by Google Maps.