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Alphabet Makes Google Maps Two-Wheeler Friendly in India


Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL Google has come up with another India-oriented feature on Google Maps.Unveiled yesterday at Google for India in New Delhi and known as the “two-wheeler mode”, the feature shows two-wheeler optimized navigation routes.

India is the first country to get this update and Google plans to roll it out in other countries with big two-wheeler riding population going forward. The feature is available with the latest version 9.67.1 of Google Maps for Android. iOS is yet to get the update.

We observe that Alphabet shares have rallied 28.7% year to date, outperforming the industry’s 20.9% gain.

Shortcuts and Narrow Roads

The new feature shows shortcuts and narrow roads that are otherwise inaccessible by heavy vehicles. It also provides traffic update, parking situation and estimated time of arrival (ETA) that is expected to be lesser than that of a car.

The new feature will surely help two-wheeler owners who always seek to take more advantage of the small size of the vehicles they ride through shortcuts and narrow roads. They will be able to avoid congestion and save time and fuel.

The feature will be available with other options like Walk, Drive, Train and Cab.

Strategy to Boost Ad Revenues

Given the fact that India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world, a move like this makes a lot of sense. Google is expected to gain more in terms of ad revenues from this new update.

Alphabet Inc. Revenue (TTM)

Notably, businesses pay for their ads on Google’s search engine, map, video and email platforms through Google AdWords. The company also earns revenues from sales of enhanced and customizable mapping program, Google Maps API that features improved search and request capacity, higher-resolution imaging and advertising control, and includes 24-hour technical support.

Fetching Data for Driverless Car

We believe that by adding more features to Google Maps, Alphabet is trying to use it more as a data trove. The company is well poised to use this huge amount of data to improve its driverless technology.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Alphabet has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include Activision Blizzard ATVI, Red Hat RHT and Five9 FIVN, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Long-term earnings per share growth rate for Activision, Red Hat and Five9 is projected to be 13.8%, 15.8% and 20%, respectively.

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