Google Introduces Nigerian Accent, Informal Transit Routes

Google Nigeria country director Juliet Ehimaun Chiazor
Google Nigeria country director Juliet Ehimaun Chiazor

Google, American multinational tech giant, has introduced Nigerian accent to the assistant on its web mapping service in its quest for localization.

The feature, which was unveiled in Lagos at the Google for Nigeria event, comes alongside the introduction of some other services. It also represents the first attempt by the tech company to offer such services in Africa.

The search engine also unveiled new Street View imagery, Gallery Go, Google Go updates, Google Lens and Bolo, and a Nigerian culinary experience from Google Arts and Culture.

Following this development, commuters going through Nigeria can now choose to hear travel advice on Google Map in a local accent/voice.

More detailed transport features for motorcycle riders have also been introduced, the availability of which would commence with Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic, Rwanda, and Uganda.

Speaking at the event, Jeff Albertson, a Google senior product manager who worked on the development, said the company partnered with an indigenous firm to gather data.

“What we’re really hoping is for people who might be making a trip to an unfamiliar town, maybe a journey they don’t usually take, to be able to discover the info they need to make that journey,” he said.

There are indications that the map would also include details pertaining to the expected freight, travel duration and images of bus stops to help guide both private and commercial commuters.

This includes details on “informal transit” routes which would allow users to play virtually every known road like commercial minibuses travelling local neighbourhoods do.

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