How Google Maps Provide Traffic Updates

Gone are the days when people didn’t know the traffic status and used to get stuck in heavy traffic for hours. With the advancement of technology and invention of apps, a lot of things have been made simpler. With web mapping service, now you know get live traffic updates for almost any route along with the estimated time it would take for you to reach your destination. Moreover, the service also suggests the shortest route to reach your destination as quickly as possible. Google Maps is certainly one of the best web mapping services you can rely on.

google map traffic

But have you ever thought how Google Maps gets to know the altering status of traffic? How it gives you a real-time analysis of traffic around the world?  If you are curious enough to know so, read on!

How Does It Work?

Google uses crowdsourcing to give accurate traffic predictions. All Android with location services on and all iPhones with Google Maps open, send bits of data back to Google anonymously. Google Maps combines the data that it receives from all the cars on the road and sends it back which highlights in colored lines on traffic layers. Moreover, this enables Google to evaluate a number of cars, the speed with which they are traveling on a road at a time.

The traffic predictions are more accurate if more and more people on the road are using the app. Google Map is a reliable source of navigation. If it doesn’t have enough information to evaluate the traffic status of an area, rather showing the wrong information, it will make the section of the particular area gray on the traffic layer.

There are other web mapping services such as Apple Maps, Mapquest, and more, which offer the traffic information. However, Google Maps has an upper hand on them, as Google Maps is used by millions of people across the world, and also it has a huge amount of data.

It has been years so Google knows about the usual traffic status on specific roads at certain times. In other words, it can forecast how traffic will change throughout your drive. For example, if there is traffic jam around 70 miles ahead of you, but it is not necessary that you would get  heavy traffic when you reach there after an hour. Google changes the estimation of time taken to complete the commute throughout the journey according the changing status.

“It’s not just what is right now, but how do we expect it to change over the next hour or two hours,” Amanda Leicht Moore, the lead product manager for Google Maps, said in an interview with Tech Insider.

google map directions

Image Credit: Business Insider

Google Maps are capable of assimilating traffic and incident data such as accident reports with

the help of Waze, a navigation app which is now owned by Google. Waze gathers information from users who report incidents like accidents, disabled vehicles, speed traps traffic jams,  on the road. Moreover, Google also takes up the information from local transportation departments.

google map

Basically, Google’s database of traffic allows Google Map which notifies the traffic condition, how any of incidents like an accident can impact the traffic on different roads in different parts of the world.

Google Maps is also capable enough to alert you if there is a marathon going on in a city as there would a large group of people moving faster than usual. Moreover, there would be no cars on the roads.

With all these alerts, notifications, the suggestion of better routes and time estimation, Google Maps is trying to make people believe that it is best navigation option and it shows the best possible route to reach the destination. Google has recently also added clarifications why it is showing a certain route.

Moore said “When we tell you to take the side route it’s so important for us to tell you because there is an incident over here because you need to trust” the app.This is about “giving people confidence that they’re going to get there faster,” Moore further added. “That we’re taking them on the smartest, fastest route.”

So, Google Maps with all the knowledge and database  is clearly one of the most important things to rely on when traveling due to accurate data and routes.

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