How does Google Maps predict Traffic on the Road?

How does Google Maps use to predict Traffic on the Road

When it comes to determining the fastest route to your destination. Google Maps’ green, yellow, and red routes to signify clear, slow-moving, or badly clogged traffic are quite helpful.

But how does Google Maps know the traffic conditions between where you are and where you are attempting to go?

Google Maps Traffic Views and Faster Route Suggestions

It uses two types of data to create its traffic views and faster route suggestions.

  • Historical data about the average time it takes to travel a specific section of road at every giving time on specific days. 
  • And real-time data sent by sensors and smartphones that report how fast cars are moving right now:

Google Maps’ early versions depended solely on data from traffic  sensors. The majority of which were installed by government transportation agencies or private organizations specializing in traffic data collection. 

The sensors detect the size and speed of passing cars using radar, active infrared, or laser radar technologies, and then wirelessly transfer that information to a server.

Data from these sensors can be utilized to offer real time traffic updates, and once collected. It becomes part of a pool of historical data that can be used to forecast traffic volume in the future. 

However, because the sensors were often deployed primarily on the most heavily frequented or  traffic prone routes, sensor data was largely limited to highways and primary roads.

Improvement on the Accuracy of Traffic Prediction

Google began using crowdsourcing to improve the accuracy of its traffic projections in 2009.  When Android phone users put on their Google app with GPS location turned on. The phone sends Google anonymous data that tells the firm how quickly their automobiles are moving.

It continuously combines and feeds back data from all of the automobiles on the road. Also, send it back by way of those colored lines on the traffic layers.

Because Google Maps can look at the average speed of automobiles moving along the same route without misinterpreting someone’s morning coffee stop as a traffic jam. Traffic estimates become more reliable as more people use the app.

If there is not enough data for Google app to estimate traffic flow for a specific length of road. That segment will display gray on the traffic layer.

Introduction of Human Aspect on Google maps

Google introduced a human aspect to its traffic computations when it bought Waze in 2013. Waze is a traffic app that allows drivers to report traffic problems such as accidents, disabled vehicles, traffic jams, and even speed traps [check: Palmer, Waze]

These real time data appear on Google Maps as individual points. It contains small icons depicting construction signs, crashed cars, and speed cameras.

Google Maps Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to use Google Earth without having to download it?

  • Yes, you can use Google Earth on your phone or computer without  having to download it. 
  • You must download the Pro version to your desktop computer in order to use it. 
  • Google Earth is available in three different versions, each of which is  free to use.

What are Google Maps Offline?

This function allows you to download maps of an area when connected to data or Wi-Fi and save them to your phone so you can get driving directions while you are offline.

How do I use Google Maps’ live view feature?

When strolling using Google Maps, you can use Live View to navigate, orient yourself, or find a  person. Open the Google Maps app on your phone, type a destination in the search bar, and hit  “Directions.” 

Tap “Walking” in the travel mode toolbar, then “Live View” in the bottom center. To assist Maps in determining your location, follow the on screen instructions, and then follow the guidance it provides through the camera view on your device.

Is Google Maps a Free App?

On both Apple and Android phones, Google Maps can be downloaded for free from the app store. The app icon on your phone can then be used to access it.

How do I get Google Maps’ Street View?

  • Open Google Maps and type in your desired location in the search bar.
  • Select the photo with the Street View symbol on the left if you are using a computer.
  • Then, scroll down and select the photo labeled “Street View” or the thumbnail with a Street View icon if you are on a mobile device or tablet.

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