In the past 12 months, Google’s Map service has completely changed and has revolutionised the way people travel, both on foot or by public transport. It has been transformed into something much more than a map and become a service that can help users whether they are going to the shops or travelling the breadth of the country.
The tool has recently added another new update that informs users of the busiest times to travel on certain routes, allowing them to plan for a longer journey, or to adjust their travel time in order to beat heavy traffic.
This is a similar feature to the one introduced back in November 2016, which tells users what the most popular times are to visit amenities such as shops, bars and restaurants, so that users can get to these places at quieter times to make their trips quicker, or at the busier times for amenities such as bars where there might be a better atmosphere.
In terms of the traffic version of this, when a user searches for directions to a certain destination, the map will display a small graph. There will be a dotted line that shows the average time the journey typically takes, and the bars underneath show how long the same route takes at certain hours of the day.
For example, imagine the journey is estimated to take 20 minutes to complete. This would be the dotted line. At quieter hours of the day, such as 5am or 11pm, this journey may take 17 minutes, so the bars representing these hours would be underneath the dotted line. On the other hand, in times of peak traffic such as 8am and 5pm, the same journey may take 28 minutes, so the bars representing these hours will be above the dotted line.
If a user combines this latest feature with others introduced to the service in recent months, such as the parking information feature added in January that tells users whether there will likely be a car parking space at the estimated time of arrival, the user now has a full travel planner instead of simply a map/sat-nav tool.
Although this is not as comprehensive as the traffic map on the desktop version of the service, it is certainly one that will help users. It is currently only available to users of the Android version of Google Maps, but it is anticipated that it will roll out to the iOS version of the platform in the near future.