Google has been stepping up Google Maps and Google Assistant's abilities recently, with Maps able to advise you about speed limits and Assistant offering public transit info in new locations. Now, Google Maps is delivering details on how busy public transit will be, Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab) reports.
In some cities, Google already had tools for tracking when trains, buses, and other public modes of transportation would arrive. For drivers, it also provides real-time details on how much traffic there is congesting the roadways along their route. Now, it's combining that style of congestion tool with public transportation tracking.
The congestion feature is rolling out in over 200 cities worldwide. The cities include major locations like New York and Los Angeles as well as smaller cities. The feature will cover trains, buses, streetcars and ferries.
The data Google will use is crowd-sourced. The company has surveyed users since October on how crowded their rides were, and it will continue to survey for this information.
The downside to this system is that the initial roll-out of the feature will base crowdedness on past information, in much the same way as it offer details on how busy stores or restaurants will be. So, for the time-being, there won't be any real-time information on how crowded a bus or train is. And, there was no mention of such a system coming later.
The new feature is coming alongside a new tool for bus travel which estimates the time it will take to commute via bus in cities and towns that don't have real-time bus tracking yet.
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