One of those extremely useful features I miss having in my car's navigation is traffic data. I simply do not want to pay the fees to XM for the every now and then that I need it. But when I need it, it always seems worth while.
Google announced that Google Maps Navigation now has built in traffic support. The free navigation app will now give you the option to go around traffic, if you so desire - and yes, for free.
You don't have to do anything to be routed around traffic; just start Navigation like you normally would, either from the Navigation app or from within Google Maps. Before today, Navigation would choose whichever route was fastest, without taking current traffic conditions into account. It would also generate additional alternate directions, such as the shortest route or one that uses highways instead of side roads. Starting today, our routing algorithms will also apply our knowledge of current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates. That means that Navigation will automatically guide you along the best route given the current traffic conditions.
Not only can you save time and fuel, you're making traffic better for everyone else by avoiding traffic jams. Keep in mind that we can't guarantee that Navigation will be able to find a faster way, but it will always try to get you where you’re going as fast as possible.
Google Maps traffic data always seems very accurate and real-time to me, so I suspect this will be a popular feature amongst Android drivers.
Forum discussion at Google Mobile Help.