Tech major Google, today, announced a partnership with IT services firm Tech Mahindra and mapping firm Genesys International to launch the Street View product of Google Maps in India. The Street View product was not allowed in India so far, since government policies wouldn’t allow foreign firms to own imagery data in the country, but the new National Geospatial Policy, 2021, allows such products as long as foreign firms don’t own such data.
Google said that it will be licensing imagery data for Street View from Tech Mahindra and Genesys and won’t own the data itself. Google Street View will be available in ten cities from today, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Nashik, Vadodara, Ahmednagar, and Amritsay. The three companies plan to add 50 more cities by the end of the year.
Miriam Karthika Daniel, vice president, Google Maps Experiences, said that this is the first time Google has used licensing partnerships like this for Street View, and the company wants to replicate the model in other countries too. “We remain committed to collaborating with local organizations and the government as we work toward delivering even more useful features and information on Maps. We will continue to do this responsibly, enabling accurate, authentic, and trustworthy information. We look forward to extending our technology and expertise to the local ecosystem,” she said.
The company will also make application programming interfaces (APIs) for Street View available to local developers, allowing them to build apps around the platform.
Further, Google announced a spate of other partnerships in the country as well, with both local authorities and organizations. The company has partnered with the Bengaluru traffic police for a pilot project meant to manage road congestions and optimize traffic light timings. In a press release, Google said that the partnership will eventually scale across the city, and it plans to expand the effort to Kolkata and Hyderabad as well.
“As per the data provided by Google, the revised plan by Google resulted in an average 20% wait time reduction per driver going through the pilot intersection during the day,” said Ravikanthe Gowda, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Bengaluru.
The Search giant also said that it has partnered with traffic authorities and aggregators in eight cities in India, including Delhi, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Gurgaon, Bengaluru, and Agra.