According to an announcement made at Google's I/O Conference on Wednesday, Google Maps - already de facto standard as far as mobile and online maps are concerned - will soon be enhanced with ground-breaking new capabilities.

These new capabilities will apparently include speech recognition and enhanced voice search capability, as well as 3D views. Among other enhancements (including enhancements to Google Maps mobile), artificial intelligence will also be leveraged. It is also being added to Google Now, stepping up the push into the market of education.

According to Gartner research director Brian Blau, Google Maps is now way ahead of the competition. This is not only due to what was announced, but is based on available street views; new routings, integrated social aspects/ recommendations; new 3D views and more - the list is seemingly endless.

Some of the new features will include additional information being displayed on floating cards; user customisation, automatic alerts and re-routing in case of traffic incidents/ issues and real time updates to query responses. In addition, the app will also be capable of remembering - or learning - favourite user locations and combine verbal queries. If, for example, a user asks about a city location, then simply asks how to reach the destination without naming the city again, the app will automatically 'assume' he is referring to the city in the original query.

Based entirely on use of vector imagery, the newly enhanced Google Maps app will be delivered via WebGL, which means users will be able to download and display maps much quicker than was the case before.

As directing analyst Julien Blin of Infonetics Research stated, super maps like this will be of ever increasing importance, as more and more vendors tie them into artificial big data intelligence like Google Now, smart sensors, smart algorithms and social networks. Most applications will sooner or later be available somewhere in 'the cloud', and by using varying in-house innovations to improve all of its offerings, Google is continually improving its overall strength and positioning itself into a god starting position for the future.

The rate things are going, Google Maps may know where users want to go before they do, drive the car and serve refreshments during the journey before long. Anyone remember 'Kit' in the TV show 'Knight Rider'? Wouldn't it be great to give your car a call and get it to come and get you when you have forgotten where you parked it?!