Google Maps Now Avoids Traffic, Eases Drivers’ Frustration


How many times have you punched an address into Google Maps Navigation only to be met with standstill traffic once you hit the highway? Whether it is too many times to count or one frustrating occasion, you’ve probably cursed the navigation software for leading you so blindly into a driver’s worst nightmare. Not anymore.

Starting today, Google Maps Navigation will automatically choose the least congested route for you to follow, keeping you in motion and maybe even helping to cut down on traffic in general. Using current and historical traffic data, Maps will decide the route best suited for travel at any given time.

Now Google isn’t guaranteeing the route with the least amount of traffic will necessarily be the quickest always, but given traffic conditions it should be the quickest available at that specific point in time. The feature is now available on Google Maps in North American and Europe.

[via Google]

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  1. About time!

  2. I could have used this last Thursday when I was stuck on 195 for EVER.

  3. I am waiting for some more real time traffic and construction updates like the good GPS/Nav units from yester year. Still yay for free Nav though

  4. i was wondering what was in the update =)

  5. Was REALLY surprised when it didn’t do this right off the bat…I’ve gotten used to manually looking at alternate routes and picking the one with the least time. Glad I don’t have to anymore!

  6. Sweet

  7. This has actually been in google maps for a while, just not with the time in it.

  8. No problems with traffic up here in rural NorCal, I would rather have construction updates, which can cause delays, especially on the many 2 lane roads we have.

  9. Awesome! Back when I got my first Android phone (OG Droid) back in November ’09, the one and only thing that I missed was VZ Navigator. At the time, I had to drive around a lot in the mid-atlantic region – Eastern Pa., NY, LI, Connecticut, DC, Boston,etc. There was a BIG difference between the two navigation systems. Before 11/09, I was only using a Samsung Alias flipped into landscape mode and put on a sticky pad on the top of the dashboard, so the $10/month wasn’t a big deal for something that I used everyday, automatically routed me around heavy traffic, and, if you were driving a large vehicle, it also had settings for trucks (anyone who has ever tried to drive on any of the parkways on Long Island knows what I’m talking about – if you weren’t in an Italian sports car, you weren’t getting under that bridge with the 5’7″ clearance – okay not that bad, but bad.). I wouldnt pay $10/ month for it now, and neither would 99% of people who have Verizon Android phones. For Google Nav’s next improvement, for the love of God, PLEASE give us voice options. That voice on google nav is the most grating, annoying, homicide-inducing thing I’ve ever heard.

  10. DJ,

    You can change the voice used in Google Navigation, simply download a new Text-To-Speak engine from the Market Place. I recommend the SVOX Classic engine. Just be prepared, while the engine is free, there is a fee for the additional voices but it’s one of the best investments I’ve made. Having a sexy British womans voice telling me where to go equals AWESOME.

  11. lmao @ DJ!!

  12. Does anybody know where Google gets its traffic info from? In my experience its not that accurate.

  13. yay Queens! woohoo! Let’s go Mets, Ironman and Flushing Meadow Park!

  14. @ Warren, I wasn’t aware of that. Thanks! I’ll check it out.

  15. Oh my…
    Wasnt this one of the things ppl wanted it to have for them to give up some paid Nav software they were using?
    Looking good Google…looking good…

  16. I wonder how they determine congestion? I know that Garmin only uses highway data, so can route people to heavily congested side roads. Even when there is no congestion, it doesn’t account for traffic controls that slow traffic down. The same distance and speed on a highway will always be faster than on a surface street with stoplights. Still, a nice add on.

  17. Google gets most of their live traffic info directly from the DOTs in the area, and supposedly supplants that with crowdsourced live info from phones.

    I’ve always noticed the traffic info overlayed on my routes and always wondered why they didn’t use that for routing. I’m glad they finally did!

  18. Google is now directing traffic. The singularity comes one step closer.

  19. Looking forward to trying this out. Live in Denver and have to travel cross and south of the city every day, so traffic is always interesting. Hopefully this will cut some minutes off my drive.

  20. awesome! I’ve always used the traffic overlay and found it reliable, doing what this does manually to avoid those dreaded red bars! gotta love it though… Google making something that works even better!


  21. I’m curious to know if the example here is real. When is the BQE ever faster than that section of the LIE?

  22. UK version doesn’t have this (or I can’t find it). Shows version v5.2.1

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