New ways to beat traffic with Google Maps

Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 3:47 PM



During the last several months a team of Googlers has been charged with bringing you the latest and greatest in traffic congestion information. We were improving the infrastructure, refactoring the code, solving pesky quality issues, and setting up the new data pipelines. Once we deployed our new traffic code base, we wanted to use the new flexible architecture to deliver cool, useful features. Today, we're very excited to launch two great new features.

Typical Traffic
Now you can see what the traffic is typically like at any given day and time, making planning a drive easier than ever by helping you avoid likely congestion.

Heading to the airport on Friday? Want to know what the traffic congestion is likely to be when you travel? Click the "Traffic" button in the corner of the map (it will only appear when we have traffic coverage for your area), and our new traffic control will come up. You can view the live conditions, or click "change" and it will let you see average traffic patterns in the area at any hour on any day of the week. The predicted traffic is based on past conditions -- as your stock broker would say, past performance is no guarantee of future results!

Traffic Incidents
We also now display accidents, construction, and road closures in most areas where we have traffic coverage.


If the traffic looks sluggish, you can find out why. Now we're not just showing the congestion, but also what causes it - accidents, blockages, scheduled construction, and other pesky impediments to the progress of human civilization. Clicking on the icon gives you details, including an estimate of when the problem is going to go away.

By the way, if you think that traffic is bad where you live, take a look at Los Angeles. If you do live in Los Angeles - our hats are off to you (and thank you for providing such a rich data set for debugging!).