Google Maps for Android now supports Bluetooth signals for tunnel navigation
January 16, 2024

Google Maps for Android now supports Bluetooth signals for tunnel navigation

GPS enables relatively easy navigation almost all over the world, but tunnels have been a problem for some applications of this type for a long time. However, Google Maps for Android now widely supports Bluetooth signals for tunnel navigation, but on iOS devices this feature is still not available.

Bluetooth signals are not exactly a new idea as the Google Waze app has been supporting the technology for some time in tunnels around the world, including major cities like New York, Chicago, Paris, Brussels and many others. However, so far these signals have only worked in the Waze app and not in the massively popular Google Maps navigation.

Google explains the Waze program in more detail on its website in the support section:

The Waze Beacon program provides seamless navigation to drivers underground where GPS signals cannot reach, ensuring location services, increased driver safety and better visibility into real-world events inside the tunnel.“.

Now, apparently Google Maps is finally adding support for Bluetooth signals as well, as a new tunnel navigation setup in the app has become widely available.

As SmartDroid points out, you should find the feature by going to Settings > Navigation Settings and then Driving options, where it should be near the bottom of the menu. The feature is disabled by default, but is described in the following words:

Scan for Bluetooth signals in tunnels to improve location accuracies in tunnels“.

This feature first appeared for some users around October 2023, but it is widely available as of this month. When you enable the feature, Google Maps for Android will ask you for permission to scan nearby devices, and when it comes to the iOS platform, there is still no information about the availability of this feature on it.