Google has introduced new transit predictions in its Maps app that will now tell you how crowded your bus or metro is likely to be before you head out. These predictions are based on data that Google has collected over the past few months.
For the past couple of months, many users reported Google Maps asking additional information about the level of crowdedness during their transit trips. After their commute is completed, users were given four options – many empty seats, few empty seats, standing room only and cramped standing room only.
Google collected this data, and using data analysis, the company has created a model to predict the level of crowdedness for customers who use Google Maps. According to Google, the new feature is available in over 200 cities around the globe.
For instance, a metro rider travelling from Rajiv Chowk to Gurgaon may see that the Yellow Line usually has 'standing room only’ at 8 a.m. While the information is not enough to change your decision, it can allow you to make an informed decision – you can either take the metro or wait a few more minutes for the next metro in which you are likely to get a seat.
This new crowd prediction feature comes latest in the recent product updates rolled out by Google Maps in the last few months, including incognito mode, real-time speeds, parking locations and reporting crashes on roads.
Google is also testing an ‘off-route’ alert feature exclusively in India, which will notify users every time their cab driver hops on a route that deviates from the intended course by 500 metres. Once Google Maps senses a wrong route, the feature will not re-route the driver but will send an alert message on the user's phones.