Google Maps Ups Your Commute Experience with New Features
Lindsay Robertson / 24 Jul 2021
It’s still time to avoid crowded transport, even if you have already got your shots. The pandemic world makes it not only unpleasant but also dangerous. With the newest addition to Google Maps, now you can select the least crowded trains and buses, minimizing your risks and discomfort.
2021 differs from 2020 a lot. Vaccines work, people get immune, health care systems catch their breath. Still, nobody wants to be among the last victims, so rules of common hygiene still apply. And Google finally has provided the option to select the least crowded routes within Google Maps app, to be available soon in about 100 countries all over the world (though not for all routes).
The name of the new feature is Transit Crowdedness Predictions, and it’s exactly what it says on the tin. The system processes the data it receives from users in real time and analyzes it, comparing to already collected data and making predictions according to it.
You might have encountered a similar idea if you have ever used Waze or another crowd-based navigation service. But Google will definitely take this on a new level, given vast amounts of data and billions of users.
The system can work even better if Google gets data directly from the transit providers, not indirectly by its user location data. And it moves towards it. Its experiments in the UK will allow showing how loaded a certain train is, and similar projects in New York and Sydney even show details for specific carriages. The upgrades made by Google rhyme with those implemented by transit companies themselves, making their transport smarter.
So far, the predictions made by Google Maps are not to be taken for granted. They are just “highly probable”. But if it reaches the level of precision we see in weather forecasts, it will make our transportation way easier.