Google has incorporated a new feature to Google Maps which will tell users the best time to leave for a destination. The smartphone app already informs users the shortest and the fastest route to a destination along with a real time traffic feed.
The new feature has only hit Google Maps on Android smartphones. Google Maps displays a schematic according to prevalent and past traffic conditions. The app also predicts the best time to start a trip to a certain destination a few hours ahead, which gives room to speculation that the app uses data from previous days to create a formulaic pattern of traffic flow at a certain place at the given time.
The feature is easily accessible and pops up when a user enters the destination in the search bar. The app shows usual estimated time and distance along with a bar graph. The graph illustrates the current traffic conditions using yellow, green or red color representing mild, open or heavy traffic respectively. The graph also predicts traffic for up to two hours ahead.
The feature is not very precise and does not informs the exact time one can save by choosing to leave at a certain time. However, it can be a very useful element when planning a trip.
The feature has already been rolled out to Android users while iOS users will have to wait for an unknown span of time to use the feature. It is a useful addition to Google Maps and we hope the feature will get better with time.