Google has just announced a new feature for Google Maps that will help drivers and travelers maneuver through busy streets during rush hour. Starting with the latest update to its Android and iOS apps, Google Maps will start notifying users if there’s a faster route available.
Though not explicitly mentioned, this new Google Maps feature most probably comes via Waze. After all, Waze’s slogan is outsmarting traffic, which Google has not so subtly reused in this announcement. Google acquired the Israeli startup last June in order to augment its own navigation features already present in Google Maps.
While Waze does still operate on its own as a crowdsourced service, Google has managed to bring in a few of its features into its own service. In particular, it has brought in incident reports from Waze into Google Maps, giving travelers a heads up about accidents, road blocks, and other important traffic problems en route. Google even managed to extend coverage of those incident reports to 46 more countries last year.
Google Maps users on Android will immediately be able to enjoy this new feature while iOS users will have to download the update from Apple’s App Store. The feature, however, works only in regions where navigation is actually available. Those interested in Waze development might also want to take part in the developer’s beta testing program that was just recently announced.