A new feature of Google Maps is now rolling out to users, as the Alphabet-owned company updated its popular mobile tool with travel time graphs. The functionality reportedly started rolling out several weeks back but still isn’t available to all users, as at least parts of Europe are yet to be affected by Google’s server-side switch. The newly added graphs are relatively similar to those depicting activity levels of businesses in the app, though they’re exclusively aimed at helping you estimate how much time you’ll spend navigating to a given location compared to other times of the day.
The graphs have six bars in total, with the second one showing the current estimate and the following four ones doing the same for the next few hours. As such, the newly introduced visualizations cannot really be used for planning a trip half a day in advance and their usefulness is even more limited by the fact that the time estimates they give are far from specific. Still, if you’re completely unfamiliar with the area you’re inspecting, the graphs should still be useful in the sense that (e.g.) they’ll warn you that you’ll probably be looking for a parking spot for between 40 minutes and an hour. The latest addition to Google Maps features a relatively clean design, much like the rest of the Android app, and should generally be easy to understand. The visualizations also change colors based on how much time the service estimates you’ll spend on your trip now relative to another period. It’s currently unclear how long will the feature take to be rolled out to all users of Google Maps but if it’s already available in your territory, you should be able to see it near the top of the Directions section.
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The inclusion of travel time graphs to Google Maps marks the third time the navigation app was updated this month, and the Mountain View, California-based company is expected to continue introducing new additions to its service in the near future. Refer to the gallery below to see how the latest feature of Google Maps looks in practice.