A major upgrade to Google Maps designed to assist self-driving cars as well as human drivers has been revealed at the world’s largest technology show in Las Vegas.

But the “high-definition” update will only launch in two electric vehicles initially and in models not due to arrive in Australia until 2024.

The tech giant announced changes to its mapping software at the Consumer Electronics Show on Friday, revealing a high-definition version of Google Maps would help keep cars on track.

Google Android for Cars product director Guemmy Kim said the refreshed maps would offer greater detail for “safer, more hands-free driving” on some roads.

“The HD map delivers precise road details like lane markers, signs and road barriers to support automakers’ assisted and autonomous driving technology,” she said.

The mapping technology will debut inside the Polestar 3 electric SUV as well as Volvo’s new flagship EX90 electric vehicle.

Both cars will combine information from Google with data from on-board cameras, radar and lidar sensors to help the vehicles drive themselves in some circumstances.

An Australian launch has been confirmed for both cars, though the Polestar 3 is not due in the country until early next year and Volvo’s new vehicle is expected late in 2024.

Wider upgrades to Google’s in-car software will deliver a new design to all Android Auto users, and will expand digital key sharing to drivers using Samsung and Xiaomi smartphones.

Another update will see existing Polestar 2 car owners able to check the electric car’s battery status or on their vehicle air conditioner by talking to a Google Home smart speaker – but only in the US initially.

Extracted in full from: Google Maps revamp for electric cars only | The Canberra Times | Canberra, ACT