Google has highlighted some of the key features of its Google Maps service that could help both parents and students wade through busy streets. The search giant noted that traffic conditions usually worsen once the school season begins. The morning rush hour vehicular traffic rises by 21 percent when school opens compared to the summer months when students and often working adults are on vacation. The situation may even be worse in some of the top 25 metropolitan areas in the United States as the morning vehicular volume may increase in those areas by around half. In an effort to make travel time shorter for its users, the Mountain View-based tech firm has included some handy features into Google Maps.
First of these features is the traffic graph, which shows the current conditions along the user's route. Since the graph is updated in real-time, commuters and motorists may base their travel decisions on the information provided by the app. Any situation that may cause congestion will also be highlighted on the graph. For those planning their routes ahead of time, traffic graphs can also deliver details about the usual hourly road conditions. Tapping the application's direction banner shows the time that will be spent on the road, the distance from the current location to the destination, and a summary of the current road condition.
Google Maps also visualizes the real time traffic conditions through the traffic layer. Once the feature is activated, the aforementioned feature overlays certain colors over roads and other similar areas. The roads where the drivers can move the fastest are colored green while other areas where gridlocks are present are colored red. Just in case people forgot to bring or buy something and only remembered about it while driving, Google has also included a feature that highlights the establishments located along the route. Motorists in navigation mode may press the magnifying glass button located near the upper right-hand side of the app. Once it is pressed, a drop down option containing a list of establishments will appear. Voice commands may also be used to instruct the application to find an establishment or provide a list of businesses under a certain category.