Google Maps Gets Drivers Out of Jams with Up-to-Date Traffic Info

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Google Maps has always given great directions. Too bad it lived in a fantasy world where the roads were always clear and you could zip down the highways without another car in sight.

In the real world, I would always factor in an extra 10 minutes to any car trip, just in case. Now, Google Maps is taking the guesswork out of things by factoring current traffic information into its directions.

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It’s not available everywhere yet, but if you live in a major metropolitan area, you should be able to get both a general time estimate and one considering current traffic conditions right below it. There’s nothing to opt-in to or turn on: If it’s available where you live, it should appear automatically anytime you calculate directions.

This is great news for people who meticulously plan out all of their trips. You can now plot out several courses and pick the one with the least amount of traffic, or weigh driving time against taking the train or riding your bike. According to Google, traffic information “is constantly being refreshed to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date estimate possible.”

This comes days after it announced it was revamping Google Maps for Android 4.0, letting users swipe back and forth to select recent or favorite destinations.

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