Share this Story

Google Maps Navigation Now Automatically Re-routes You Around Bad Traffic

There is a minor Google Maps (version 5.2.1) update waiting for you in the market if you didn’t already notice, and we’re thinking it may enable automatic traffic re-routing.  The market description doesn’t say anything about it, but this latest post from the Google Mobile Blog sure does.  As of today, Google Maps Navigation will do its best to take you around bad traffic without asking you to even lift a finger…

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.

Gotta love Google.  And is it just me, or does that description bring back the surfing scene from Forgetting Sarah Marshall?  “Don’t do anything.”  Classic.

Via:  Google Mobile Blog

  • Tincanpuller

    Sounds great. Too bad I can’t get it to download.

  • The problem with this is that in the Dallas / Ft. Worth region, the traffic is so bad everywhere that the Nav will likely just tell me to stay home.

  • Starhelius17

    It’s about time, Google! Verizon’s busted “VZ Navigator” has had the option to navigate around traffic built in for ages. Sure it wasn’t automatic, but at least they offered it period. Now give me the ability to add an additional destination along the route of a current trip!

    Of course, considering that what Google Maps offers is absolutely free, I suppose I don’t really have any room to complain. So…everything above. Please?

  • Jlbusch

    Do more, no now thats too much, do less

  • mustardhomie

    I love google… no matter how much info they have on me…

  • chris

    “minor”? but this is something I’ve wanted in a GPS since the day I started using a GPS. So if this is considered a “minor” update then I’m curious what a major update would be.

  • Captainhowdy13

    Traffic in Astoria? I figured you’d have a pic of the traffic along 26 or 84… Good for the app… Makes me wish I didnt buy my Garmin with lifetime traffic…

  • Sarah
  • Navigation and Voice Controls are the two aspects of Android that are superior to iOS. I miss the sweet navi.

  • Anonymous

    surprised it didn’t have this before, but I tricked it by clicking “avoid highways” here in Portland 🙂

  • this is so legitimate, and hardly worthy of the meager 0.0.1 increase, it’s like a full back-end overhaul

  • Raven

    I had my first long distance backwoods driving experience with Google Nav last night. I was driving 100 miles at night in a rural area that only had small towns every 10 or 20 miles and spotty cell service. Sure, it faithfully kept showing me how many miles to go to my destination, but it did not tell me anything I really wanted to know like how far it was to the next town and what was it called. Even when I got to the next small town, it would show me some of the major street street names, but no where did it overlay the name of the town. Seems like this would be a very basic addition to the 3D Nav view that I would really appreciate. It is great that they are improving the routing, but I think they still need to work on some of the basic features of the Nav to better compete with the big boys while on a long trip.

    • tommyz

      You may have been with out data at that time. It only caches major roads after some distance from the start.

  • LexLuthor

    Your article title is very misleading. It doesn’t say anything about “re-routing” around traffic. It’s not 100% clear, but I think it only takes traffic into consideration when creating the route.

  • LexLuthor

    Your article title is very misleading. It doesn’t say anything about “re-routing” around traffic. It’s not 100% clear, but I think it only takes traffic into consideration when creating the route.

    • Cyklonic

      This would be nice if clarified. I generally trust the traffic on Google maps, but its a changing beast and wonder if it does real-time traffic updates enroute?

  • That’s rough when your best option of 3 still takes 20 minutes to go 7.9 miles. My right foot would be having none of that.

  • Anonymous

    Love Google Maps. What else is it going to do in the future? 🙂

  • Tom

    I didn’t see a story about this on droid-life… but THE N64OID emulator is finally on the market! woo hoo!!

  • Anonymous

    I think it may be time to finally sell my Garmin Nuvi.

  • Mr. Joe

    I have been waiting for this since I got my Droid in Dec 2009!

  • Mr. Joe

    I have been waiting for this since I got my Droid in Dec 2009!

    • SwedishPimple

      Ditto with same date too! I knew this had to be coming, but just a matter of when. Thanks Google!!!

      • now if only we could change its voice. i don’t want a woman giving me directions 🙂

      • now if only we could change its voice. i don’t want a woman giving me directions 🙂

  • Mystro2b

    new Android (Droid X) user Q: will this automatically update on my Droid X? If I choose the navigation program, will it work the same way? are Navigation and Google Maps working of the same information?

    • You need to go to the market and update it and yes the navi and maps work off the same info.

  • Pete

    This would be great if the traffic data was actually accurate, which it is not, so this might in fact needlessly route you out of your way for no reason.

    • DeJecTus

      This ^

      I have noticed the traffic not being accurate and so I no longer pay attention…

  • brife

    What an opportune update, downloading it now and driving up to Staten Island after work. 🙂

  • Adammhaile

    I got the impression that it only routed you around traffic according to the conditions when you initiated the navigation session, not that it would reroute you if traffic came up mid trip…

  • Anonymous

    Looking at the screenie, I wonder. Why would you leave “Blissville” to deal with any of that traffic? Also, I can’t wait until Google figures out how to route bad drivers out of my way. 😛

    • PyroHoltz


    • DBK

      lol That’s what spotlights are for. Mount 3 or 4 powerful ones on to the front of your car and switch ’em on when you encounter a bad driver. Done, one less bad driver on the road. 🙂

      • Kaufkin

        as a kid, ran away with the carnival… bunch of us camped out in the back of the 18 wheelers for short jaunts… back gate was openable from inside… anyway, some poor SOB was tailgating the truck… driver asked us to tilt the spotlight (4′ diameter, ish.. last think we loaded in the truck) down, and open the back door… dunno how it reflected his headlights back, but boy did he back the F@#$ up.. 🙂

        • DBK

          Nice! 🙂

  • Google is brilliant

  • Eazy


  • I c*m*.

  • I c*m*.

  • tbaybe

    i love this idea!!!!

  • DroidzFX

    Navigation Occupation!!


    Think I may have broke some kind of record

    • Anonymous

      You may have actually. 😛

    • Anonymous

      You may have actually. 😛

    • Anonymous

      I think you might have a typo…

      Did you mean to say gun store…liquor store…holding cell @ police station? That would seem to be the logical progression.