Google Maps Navigation now automatically avoids traffic

By on March 7, 2011, 3:22 PM
Tired of hearing the traffic report that tells what you already know – that traffic is bad on the road you're currently on? Google has announced that Google Maps Navigation, which is still in beta, will now automatically route you around traffic.

The routin-around-traffic feature is only available in North America and Europe, which is where Google has access to real-time traffic data. Furthermore, Google Maps Navigation requires at least Android 1.6 and comes included as a part of Google Maps for Android version 3.2 and higher. This is only available in these 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.

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Before today, Navigation would choose whichever route was fastest, without taking current traffic conditions into account, but would also generate additional alternate directions, such as the shortest route or one that uses highways instead of side roads. Now, Google's routing algorithms will also apply current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates.

"Not only can you save time and fuel, you're making traffic better for everyone else by avoiding traffic jams," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "Keep in mind that we can’t guarantee that Navigation will be able to find a faster way, but it will always try to get you where you’re going as fast as possible." Google also took the opportunity to mention that Navigation users drive more than 35 million miles every day.


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