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Strava introduces Routes, its new automatic route planning feature

Joe Robinson
25 Mar 2020

New feature will create three personalised routes based on how and where you want to ride

Strava has unveiled its latest update, Routes, a new feature that will recommend routes based on the distance, terrain and surface that you want to ride on.

The social media and training app believes this latest addition will help 'athletes find the best places to run and ride' by using the data it has gained from three billion uploads worldwide.

Working with OpenStreetMap, Routes will use a series of advanced algorithms that assess OpenStreetMap's open-source map database, Strava's segements, and even the bikes that have ridden on those particular segments.

It will then formulate a choice of three routes based upon your preferred locations to ride, the average distance you tend to ride and the terrains you often tackle, whether that be hilly or flat, gravel or tarmac.

Beyond recommending routes, Strava Routes will also provide athletes with detailed time estimates for your planned activities based upon your recent pace, details such as elevation and changes in the road surface and an overlaid heatmap to show the popularity of certain routes and whether certain trails and roads are even rideable.

If you're happy with one of the recommended routes, you can then follow it via the app or transfer it to your GPS computer.

The new feature will be found in the 'Explore' tab and it is also worth noting that the ability to draw up your own routes will remain, too.

In a press release, Strava said: 'We use map matching to snap GPS pings to known edges (roads and trails) to establish popular waypoints… our route recommendations are based on a robust database of activities that allow for higher quality of route recommendations.'

These advanced updates will only be available to Strava Summit users, the subscription premium service that costs £6.99 per month for the complete package.

This paid-for service will grant users access to Routes as well as other features such as relative effort heart rate analysis, fitness and freshness graphs and more in-depth workout analysis.

Currently, the UK is amidst a three-week partial lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak which permits just one form of exercise per day.

Once it lifts, it will be interesting to see how good this new Routes feature is and whether it can keep up with local riding knowledge of the area.

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