Google Maps will be launching new 'lite navigation' system for cyclists

A welcome update for cyclists from Google

Google headquarters in Ireland
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Google have announced they will be launching a new 'lite navigation' system on their Maps app. 

The new system will be focussed on helping cyclists navigate around wherever they want to go.

Lite Navigation is part of Google's new sustainability programme where they are pushing towards a greener way of life. 

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In the USA, Google Maps is now directing drivers on routes that have the best fuel efficiency. This can be adjusted if you prefer to take the faster route. 

With Lite Navigation, though, cyclists will not be given the usual turn-by-turn instructions that you usually get in a car, for example, but rather cyclists will be given instructions about the route they are on which they would be able to glance at if they have their phones set up on their bars. 

However, Google claim to have taken into account that cyclists may not have their phone on display. 

Much like normal navigation on Google Maps, the app will show your route and the estimated time of arrival, but also where a change of elevation is along the route. The notification bar will also have distance and the ETA as well as an option to share your route with others.

This means that you won't even need to unlock your phone to get the guidance about your route. This helps hugely as you will only need to glance at your phone. 

Fortunately the voice guidance will still be there with more information about the route you will be riding.

Google say that this feature will not be available just yet and that we must wait for it to be launched in the "coming months."

It will be available for everyone that has cycling navigation on their Google Maps app already and on all devices, including iPhone and Android. 

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!


I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.


It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.


After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.


When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.


My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.