komoot recently launched Trail View, a feature similar to Google Maps Street View, allowing you to take a look at off-road sections before you head out to ride them. The idea is to ensure you know that your route is suitable, and we think it could change gravel route planning forever.
You know the situation, it’s one that we’ve all been in. You want to go and explore some new gravel routes or check out a path that you saw on your last ride. A quick route planning session occurs and you start. Once you get to your new gravel path, however, the dream of gloriously smooth and flowing dirt is dashed. Instead, you find gates, tree roots and a path that is so overgrown, you become part of nature.
This is, for many of us, the frustrating part of riding gravel in parts of the UK... but thankfully komoot has come up with a nifty bit of tech which aims to help you to find that glorious bit of gravel with a little less trial and error.
“An image recognition technology that uses artificial intelligence to curate images, Trail View has been born out of komoot’s desire to provide its community with the most information-rich portrayal of the trail ahead - through images,” says komoot.
It is already running on komoot’s route planning pages and Trail View appears as little green dots. Click on these dots and you’ll see user-uploaded images of the trail that you’re thinking about riding. As more user images are uploaded, more trail details will be highlighted, but it is already populated with enough pictures to give you a good idea of what you’ll be riding.
“Clear information about the condition and composition of the trail will help mountain bikers choose the right equipment, hiking families and groups to reduce risk, gravel cyclists to avoid paths with rocks – increasing the likelihood of Type 1 fun all-round,” says komoot.
komoot asked us to go and check it out for ourselves, so there was really only one man for the job. We sent Dave off to Dartmoor with no idea of the trails, and told him to plan a ride using the new Trail View.
To see how Dave got on, and whether he is still lost on Dartmoor with only the wild ponies to talk to, check out the video above...