Google Maps will now route you based on live traffic

Discussion in 'Android OS' started by Magellan, Mar 7, 2011.

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  1. Magellan

    Magellan Male Moderator Moderator Super Moderator

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  2. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    That's a cool feature "Current & historical traffic....."? I get the historical part but the current? How are they tracking traffic?

    I wonder if it would be worth someone's effort to develop a dedicated Android dashboard GPS?
  3. Adama D. Brown

    Adama D. Brown Brighthand Reviewer

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    Well, some of the current Android tablets or larger smartphones would already do fine in that regard. And some of the new Google mapping stuff does a very nice turn-by-turn nav package, too.

    As for current traffic, the answer is usually traffic cameras combined with image recognition. Once the computers can tell the difference between a picture that's static because there's no traffic, and one that's static because it's bumper to bumper, they can convert that instantly into data points to deliver along with the mapping data. Of course it usually only works on larger expressways.
  4. Stryker

    Stryker Mobile Evangelist

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    I had converted to cell-based GPS a few years ago. The move to Android solidified that decision. I love having the option on the go (albeit based on data).

    I might start using Google Maps more now.
  5. Adama D. Brown

    Adama D. Brown Brighthand Reviewer

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    That's pretty much what I do--it's not worth the extra fuss of having a separate GPS system, even if I'm just plugging it into my car. My cell phone, on the other hand, is with me at all times. I would prepare ahead of time if I thought I was going to be going into an area with no cell coverage, but that's pretty rare these days.
  6. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy TabletPCReview Editor Staff Member

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    In addition, many cities track where there are traffic problems, and make this information available to companies that want it.

    -
  7. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    About the only one that would impact me would be ATL. And if they don't track it, they should.
  8. Varjak

    Varjak Newbie

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    LS, didn't some study just recently determine that ATL had the worst traffic in the country? Even worse than LA I think.
  9. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I believe so, although I can't imagine it being as bad as LA based on sheer size. I don't live there like some hereon but I do travel there. The interstates are particularly bad. Can't imagine commuting there and having to negotiate the rush hours.
  10. Magellan

    Magellan Male Moderator Moderator Super Moderator

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  11. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy TabletPCReview Editor Staff Member

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    Atlanta is one of the cities that tracks traffic info and makes it available to Google Maps and others.

    Why do you think I work from home?

    Atlanta may have a smaller population than LA, but it's more spread out. You'd think that would lead to less traffic, but it doesn't. See, Atlanta has little to no mass transit, so just about everyone has to drive long distances in the interstates to get to work. An hour commute is considered fairly normal.

    That's why navigations systems that can route around bad traffic are so welcome.
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  12. Varjak

    Varjak Newbie

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    One other thing. The example the Times used aside, I wonder how many times there IS a viable alternate route. I live in a major metro area; and sometimes you are just SOL. Nowhere to go, traffic or not. Still, it's nice to have for those times there IS an alternate route.
  13. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta boldly battling the XenForo-ces {squeek!!}

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    even outside of major metro areas, sometimes there's really only one way to "get there from here," and then, there are the situations where you learn of the traffic problem *just one exit too late*; particularly bad are toll roads, IME. and, frankly, unless the route you'd normally take is completely, totally closed or impassable, alternate routes often take as long, or longer, than gutting it out in the traffic jam (again, in my experience). that said, I still think it's a neat feature, too.
  14. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    If you know an area, you usually know when the rush hours will be. It seems the worst unpredictable hangups are traffic accidents. We have these here on the interstate, which is only 4 lanes in our area. Luckily, it doesn't occur that often. I know that, for example, the Atlanta Constitution sends out email alerts when there's a major accident in the greater ATL area and IIRC, they have signs over major routes that warn of backups. There is often an AM channel that gives traffic info. It would seem simple enough to set up a website or a system using Twitter to broadcast these kinds of warnings.
  15. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta boldly battling the XenForo-ces {squeek!!}

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    totally right; my last problem drive was on the Northeast Extension of the PA turnpike. I *knew* there was a problem ahead, thanks to the AM station announcement (alerted by the sign that was flashing on the side of the road), so I took a lunch break, thinking that given an hour, they ought to have things cleared up (I first learned of the accident before I even got on the turnpike, so actually had time to think :rolleyes: ). well, the backup started about a half-mile past the exit I could have taken, had I wanted to go for an alternate route. to make the story a little shorter, my 2 hour ride was 3 and a half hours that day....and that's not including the time-out for lunch
  16. internetpilot

    internetpilot Flying Dog (...duh...)

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    I've been a long-time TomTom GO700 user, but the battery in my GO700 just gave up the ghost. I actually have a spare battery (although it's significant surgery to replace it), but I just decided to pull the GO700 out of my car altogether since my HTC Evo with Google Nav/Maps does a better job.

    I like having the satellite overlay view (rather than just cartoony roads), and Google Nav even tells you which side of the road your destination is on when you arrive, lane guidance, text to speech, voice input for destination, etc. My TomTom didn't do that, and even more current TomToms are just getting to the point where they'll do lane guidance and such.

    The best part? Google Nav/Maps is "free" and has more current maps than my TomTom, even though I'm on a quarterly map subscription service.

    RIP TomTom -- you've been a good Nav until my Android phone came around!
  17. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    It's good to hear Google has those features. They're certainly things I would look for in a standalone GPS.
  18. Adama D. Brown

    Adama D. Brown Brighthand Reviewer

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    internetpilot, if you feel like giving that TomTom a good home, mail it and the spare battery to me. I've been needing a new electronic surgery project since the last time I replaced my laptop's motherboard. :D

    There's a lot of good reasons to go with "live" maps for GPS, although there is the problem that if you don't have cell coverage, you can't get fresh maps. I've been there once or twice, mostly in the valleys of New Hampshire. But as coverage expands, that becomes less important.
  19. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I wouldn't have thought anywhere in the Northeast would be beyond coverage. Shows what I know.
  20. Stryker

    Stryker Mobile Evangelist

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    I have hit points without cell coverage... as you say though, coverage is expanding.

    OT: how hard was it for you to change that motherboard? Curious... I have heard it is somewhat daunting.
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