Google Maps will now tell you the best time to hit the road
Why it matters to you
Google Maps can now help you plan your next trip by showing you estimated travel times based on when you decide to leave.
Google Maps has added a helpful feature to navigation that should make it a little easier to plan your next journey. The app will now tell you how long your travel time may be depending on when you leave. A bar graph compares your current estimated time of arrival to what it would be if you left in the next half hour, or even two hours into the future.
The feature is already live on our devices, so Google might not be doing a lengthy rollout with this particular new feature. The information is presented as a bar graph that looks very similar to the one used to denote hours when businesses are busiest. You can even look one hour in the past, to kick yourself over how much time you might have saved if you just left a little earlier.
The feature is only available in the United States and United Kingdom, according to Android Central, and didn’t accompany an app update — meaning users in other regions will have to wait for Google to flip it on.
Google sources traffic data all day, all around the world, so it’s nice to see it used to deliver a new tool that makes driving easier and traffic jams less unexpected.
Every couple of months, Google quietly updates Maps with helpful little features, like a parking availability indicator or floor plans with marked staircases and elevators to denote wheelchair-accessible places. It can honestly be difficult to stay on top of everything you can do with Maps, which is why we’ve written a guide featuring the most useful tips and tricks.
At the same time, the company has been fighting back against problems like fake listings for locations and businesses that are aimed at extorting travelers. According to Google, about 70 percent of these listings have been weeded out over the past two years. New policies instituted since then have prevented unverified businesses from creating listings in bulk, or registering locations far away from their existing operation. Google says most of the offenders are now identified before they ever appear to the public.