Traffic jams are really a nuisance and a waste of time. It’s always a bad surprise when your request for driving assistance takes you through a completely blocked path. Fortunately, some apps are able to predict traffic. This is also the case of Google Maps, which is equipped with new functions. This is not new. Google Maps, like its counterpart Waze – which is also owned by Google – is able to predict traffic in real time. Only, you have to have the application open and a programmed route. Or, traffic jams sometimes clear when you least expect it, even on routes you know by heart. To solve this problem, Google Maps has just unveiled a new function: from now on, traffic predictions will be displayed directly on the smartphone’s home screen.
To benefit from this option, it will be necessary to place the application on its home screen. It will take the appearance of a small square which will allow you to quickly find out about the state of the roads around the current position. If the road is green, everything is fine, but if it turns red, there are traffic jams. “You will see this information for your current location right from your Android home screen. So if you’re about to leave home, work, school, or anywhere else, you’ll know at a glance exactly what local traffic is like. And because Android widgets are touch-enabled, you can zoom without opening the Maps app,” explains Product Manager Luke Wroblewski in a blog post.
This toll prediction is enabled by Google Maps users and their travel history. If the app finds that a number of people using the app are on the same street and stationary, it understands that it’s probably clogged. On the other hand, this method does not make it possible to know how the traffic will be evaluated in the minutes, or even the hours to come.
For the moment, this function is intended only for Android smartphones and will arrive in the coming weeks, as well as the appearance of widgets allowing you to archive your emails with a simple touch or by setting up the different task lists.
In Germany’s sights
On a completely different level, the Google group is targeted in Germany by an investigation by the competition policeman, due to alleged “restrictive practices” on its Google Maps mapping service.
The German federal anti-cartel office indicates in a press release that it has “initiated proceedings against Google Germany and Alphabet, the parent company, concerning possible practices restrictive of competition to the detriment of alternative mapping services on its Google Maps platform”.
Concretely, the American giant is accused of “limiting the possibility of combining Google’s mapping service with maps produced by third parties”, detailed the institute. This practice “risks hampering competition in the field of mapping services”, he adds.
The anti-cartel office therefore counts as part of its examiner investigation “whether this practice allows Google to extend its position of strength” in the online mapping market.
“Google customers and competitors” will be interviewed “in the coming weeks”, added to the agency.
“Google, as a company exercising a dominant position on the markets, is subject to increased surveillance in terms of abuse”, comments Andreas Mundt, its president.
The opening of this investigation is permitted by a law, which came into force last year, which strengthens the powers of the German competition policeman against large digital companies. This legislation enables it in particular to take immediate measures, or to open investigations, to prevent certain anti-competitive practices. Only condition: that the company be considered in a situation of “dominant position on the market”, a qualification appreciated by the office.
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and Meta, which manages Facebook, have both been placed under enhanced surveillance by the office after being placed in this category. Amazon and Apple are also targeted, but have not yet received this qualification.
Sources: writing, web and AFP
Traffic jams are really a nuisance and a waste of time. It’s always a bad surprise when your request for driving assistance takes you through a completely blocked path. Fortunately, some apps are able to predict traffic. This is also the case of Google Maps, which is equipped with new functions. This is not new. Google…