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New Google Now Allows You to Specify Mode of Transportation for Commutes or Other Trips

google now commute

We’re still diving into the latest Google Now update, as Google tends to slip in features here and there that it doesn’t necessarily list in the changelog. One of those being more control over the traffic card. In past versions, the traffic card would appear before you took off on your daily commute or oft-traveled locations, however, there wasn’t much control over it. In today’s update, that changes for the better. 

If you go into Google Now Settings>Google Now>Traffic, you’ll see a new “Transportation Mode” section that lets you specify the mode of transportation for your commute or other trips. If you typically take the bus or bike to work, you can tell Google Now to suggest routes based on those transportation types. For other trips, non-commute-related, you can specify similar biking, walking, public transit, or driving options.

What else have you noticed in the new Now update?

Cheers Mike!

  • Mr. Shah

    Does anyone get the news cards to show up? I can’t seem to get them even when I google stories. I wish it would do it from my Google News page.

  • MikeSaver

    Wow this is exactly what i was looking for as I take the T to work, drive everywhere else

  • Corey Marrier

    It also shows the daily Google Doodle, at least for me.

    • Just noticed too – that’s new.

  • TheDrunkenClam

    I live in DC, I commute to work by car because taking the metro (subway train) would be too long. When I take trips to Ohio, of course its by car. But when I go out for leisure downtown I always take the metro and never drive. How should I set mine. Also, it says it’ll notify you about the train schedules when it detects you’re standing at the train platform, but I have never gotten a card popup here for this. Anyone else in the Washington DC area care to weigh in? Thanks in advance for any help.

    • Alan Burnstine

      If you are near Union Station, it will supply MARC schedules, but I have never seen it give Amtrak or Metro information even though both are available from Google Maps.

      I would like to see the ability to combine transport methods, and learn my habits. If it is a nice day, I ride my bike to the bus, then the bus to the metro. If it is cold and rainy, I drive to the metro, but if it snowing, or warm but rainy, I walk to the bus. I would like to know the expected commute time for all three methods, preferably with Google Now guessing which method I will use.

  • Mike Petty

    When will Google Now get smart enough to know that at the end of every work day, I go pick my daughter from daycare and then head home? Lots of people have a multi-leg route home, and Google Now never ever gets it right. I’ve tried editing it, and changing things or trying to trick it into thinking daycare is a second work office, and it just never gets my commute right.

  • mechapathy

    This has been there for a long time.

  • PyroHoltz

    I imagine traffic won’t change much for a walking/biking commute. What’s the point?


    • The amount of time it would take to get somewhere via bike/waking/bus/car all vary.

  • Adam Musso

    Anyone else having issues with the menu popping up quick and disappearing after this update? I have the Verizon Note 2.

  • duke69111

    Does google now only work for items in my google calendar or does it also pull in from my exchange calendars as well? Anyone Know?

    • Mr. Shah

      It worked for my exchange calendar as well the other day telling me that I should leave at so and so time to make to my meeting on time. One of the best features Google Now has.

  • Jordan Epps

    I don’t think this is new. I did this last week.

    • Eric

      Its not. I used it last week to.

    • Justin Winker

      I was going to say… I had to do this to get driving estimates to/from work to show up as a Now slide about two weeks ago…

      • Yeah, that’s been around since Now launched – but the ability to customize your mode of transportation & differentiate btw commuting and ‘other trips’ is new

  • My traffic card is terrible… it pretty much has my “time to Home” displayed always regardless of time. I commute 1 hour to the same place every weekday and am away from home for 11 hours… and the whole time I’m gone it’s telling me the time to Home. Anyone else have this issue?

    • Seth Schorr

      It is showing the card because it knows that you have driven to work. It doesn’t know the time that you are returning and is updating based on traffic.

      • Isn’t it supposed to show up “when I need it”… not all the time?? That’s what I thought the whole point was..

  • JohnGaspardo

    How hard is it to proof 2 whole paragraphs before posting?

    • Droid_Dude

      How hard is it to chill and stop worrying about being part of the grammar police?

  • wickets

    brillaint….thanks for the coverage

  • Kevin Bojarski

    I wish we could specify for individual commutes/trips.

  • JetBlue

    Would be nice if they could fix the Time to Place of how it doesn’t update like how I’ve been home for 30 minutes but it still says ETA 15 minutes.

    • Ian Winchell

      it would be nice if we could edit the route as well, i haven’t been able to figure that out yet, i take the back roads to and from home/work and its constantly giving me ETA for going all the way through town to the highway then home

      • JasonIvers

        Seriously… Google needs to either acquire Waze, or build a lot better traffic routing. It ALWAYS shows taking highways unless you set it to not show ANY highway… Waze generally gets me home 10-15 minutes faster than Google’s navigation.

        It also learns my preferred routes… forgot to mention that part.

        • Ian Winchell

          i will say that when i was in portlandia it worked great and gave me multiple option on routes, and transportation methods, which was great when i was trying to get back to the hotel drunk. But i live in montana and between home a work there are a couple spots where i don’t think i get gps or cell signal so that might be a contributing factor.

      • Kevin

        Google Now has learned my preferred route. At first it would show its recommended route, but after about a week of to and from work, it now shows ETA and map based on my usual route

        • Ian Winchell

          ya know what, having looked at it again, it is showing the correct route, its just the travel time that is off, no way it take me 38 minutes to get from work to home, 25 minutes tops, 20 if i speed a little. So it seems to have learned my route, the place i couldn’t edit it was in google maps, but in navigation it works well and can edit the routes. So basically i’m an idiot 🙂

      • Justin Winker

        From some other people that have had similar issues, it appears to learn the route you take to/from location after a certain amount of time. My problem is that I rarely go home right after work (and my schedule is on a two week rotating basis), so it’s probably never going to get it right.

        • Seth Schorr

          Try using Google Navigate for each trip. Even though you don’t need it, it probably will send the info to Google and it will learn from that.

        • JetBlue

          What you could do is set up your Home in the settings that if you go to another place after work it’ll still show how much time you have until you’d arrive Home

    • Seth Schorr

      It may only update every 30 minutes or so.

  • MikeCiggy

    I remember hearing complaints about this. Perfect for those in City’s who walk or bike.