Google Maps Removes Driving With Traffic Estimates

Jul 14, 2011 • 8:33 am | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Maps
 

Google Maps LogoI am not sure exactly when this happened, but Google Maps has dropped one of the more useful features. The feature is, estimating how much time it would take to drive somewhere with traffic, either live traffic or predictive traffic based on day/time.

Now, the feature is gone.

A Google Maps Help thread has a Googler explaining they removed it because it wasn't accurate enough. Daniel from Google explained:

We have decided that our information systems behind this feature were not as good as they could be. Therefore, we have taken this offline and are currently working to come up with a better, more accurate solution. We are always working to bring you the best Google Maps experience with updates like these!

Personally, I found Google's traffic data more accurate than any other live traffic information. Google croudsourced phones for real time traffic data and I thought it worked well.

Old:

Google Maps Traffic

New:

Google MAps Traffic Gone

Google launched traffic estimates back in 2007.

The thing is, the traffic estimates still do work, just not on Google Maps. You can use your iPhone and get the details. I am not sure if it still works on Android as well.

Google Maps Traffic on iPhone

Hope they don't remove it from the iPhone because I use this feature a lot.

Forum discussion at Google Maps Help.

Update: Google sent me a statement on September 27th saying:

Google is committed to providing our users with the richest, most up-to-date maps possible, including live traffic updates. The traffic data on Google Maps comes from a variety of sources, including government departments of transportation, private data providers, and users of Google Maps for mobile who contribute anonymous speed information through our traffic crowdsourcing feature. (For more information, check out our Crowdsourcing blog post.).

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Comments:

Black Seo Guy

07/14/2011 01:49 pm

That's crazy because I use it daily since I'm a real estate investor also..I have to go see properties so it comes in handy. "Black Seo Guy "Signing Off"

Johnm

07/14/2011 05:14 pm

That is irritating!  I always use that feature and use it as a generalized time frame.  I never assume it's going to be precise but I feel like it helps to give you an overall idea.

Slogger

07/16/2011 02:06 pm

INRIX has really accurate travel times and alternative routes on their premium app.

JimHirshfield

07/16/2011 03:06 pm

Confirming it is still on android.

Kevinf

07/16/2011 04:24 pm

Indeed, INRIX Traffic Premium (In-App Purchase) for iPhone provides Real-time ETA and travel times.

Joe the coder

07/16/2011 07:22 pm

There's clearly more to this than what has been said.  I've used this feature since it came out and found travel time to be pretty accurate, especially when unexpected traffic happens.   Recently, I started a 60 mi drive and the prediction was 67 minutes or so.  My route took me past a baseball stadium and the game finished about 10 minutes into my journey.  The freeway got flooded and my predicted time shot up to about 90 minutes (plus the 10 elapsed).  My actual time was about 95 minutes.

Joe the coder

07/16/2011 07:23 pm

oh yeah, it would be really great if they some how incorporated news about events that will affect traffic but that's a different issue.

Jonathan

07/16/2011 10:19 pm

This is really strange. Today is July 16th and while I had trouble accessing the predictive traffic, it's still on Google but while you can access it and change the date and time, it has no effect on the time. By holding the Traffic menu, it opens a small window on the bottom left, "Traffic & change". Also I live in Malibu CA and Pacific Coast Hwy is not tracked by the predictor -- this is particularly odd since PCH is normally tracked very accurately by google maps when one simply uses the live traffic, but not today. To add to the mystery, I just checked traffic on my Droid and it's working there.

BOBRACHA

07/18/2011 02:02 pm

I don't see what the problem is.  Even my auto insurance company used that estimate as an appropriate adverage on how long it takes to get to my work.

Ronald Pottol

08/31/2011 09:40 pm

If you have an Android or iPhone, there is Waze, which does that live, and fairly well.

Mathieu Laflamme

07/26/2013 01:58 am

I was using estimate to get to a place a particular day... now it's gone... I'm sad :(

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