Google introduces Motorbike Mode navigation in Kenya

Internet search giant  Google has announced Motorbike Mode on Google Maps in Kenya, a dedicated travel mode for motorcycles, which will provide directions and voice navigation.

The launch makes Kenya the first country in Africa where bike riders will have the directions and voice navigation service.

“The motorbike, or ‘bodaboda’, has become a popular way to get around in Kenya with over a million Kenyans using motorbikes as their preferred mode of transport,” Google said in a statement.

“We hope that Motorbike Mode will help keep Kenyans on the move and we’ll be working to make the feature even more useful in the coming months.”

The company said the service would provide “directions and turn-by-turn navigation for boda boda riders to allow for more time efficient routes”.

It also announced a $1 million Google.org initiative to provide digital skills training to more than 100,000 smallholder farmers in low-income areas in Kenya.

The Internet giant said it was partnering with One Acre Fund, a western Kenya-based non-profit organisation that provides training, products and services on credit to smallholder farmers.

“The aim is to help these farmers make the most of the web for their agribusinesses, so that they can increase yields and productivity. The funds will allow them to digitise operations and tasks (training, payments, crop health etc),” the company added.

Google also announced the launch of Street View service in Kenya for the first time, allowing users to virtually explore via its images 9,500 kilometres of roads in major cities like Nairobi.

Farah Yussuf is a Digital Reporter with Star FM Kenya. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Masinde Muliro University.

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