Google GPS Navigation Needs Traffic Prediction

I use navigation on my Android phone to pick out the best route to work each morning. The problem is, it bases time estimates on traffic conditions now — not traffic conditions as they’ll be when I get to each point along the route. I’ve gotten used to the morning drive taking at least 15 minutes* longer and the evening drive taking around 10 minutes less than predicted, but a little more precision would be helpful.

Obviously, Google isn’t psychic. They can’t predict where and when car crashes will happen. But they do have historical traffic data. If you go to Google Maps on the web and display traffic, you can switch between live data and an average for a given time and day of the week.

It would be fantastic if Google used that data to predict how much slower (or faster) traffic will be moving at each point along each projected route, and use that for the time estimates. It would be nice for the “Are we there yet?” factor, but it would be incredibly useful for route planning!

*Sometimes more. This morning, it predicted a 55-minute trip. It took me an hour and 35 minutes.

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3 thoughts on “Google GPS Navigation Needs Traffic Prediction

  1. David Booth

    Found it! In the lower left of the map there is a small legend saying “Live traffic change”, where “change” is a link that allows you to access the options for predicting future traffic.

    Reply
  2. Kelson Post author

    Yes, they’ve had the data available on maps for years. What I think they should do is start feeding it into the navigation system.

    Reply

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