Ina Fried

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Google’s Navigation App Now Able to Steer Android Users Away From Traffic

Google said on Monday that it is adding a feature to its Android-based navigation app that will allow the turn-by-turn program to automatically reroute users around traffic jams.

“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,” Google said in a blog posting.

Until now, Google said its app would generally choose the fastest app based on expected traffic, but would not take current conditions into account. “It would also generate additional alternate directions, such as the shortest route or one that uses highways instead of side roads,” Google said. “Starting today, our routing algorithms will also apply our knowledge of current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates.”

The result is that the app should steer users away from traffic, Google said.

The company said the new feature is being added in Europe and North America in places where it has both turn-by-turn and real-time traffic data. It added that it can’t guarantee it will always be right.

“Keep in mind that we can’t guarantee that Navigation will be able to find a faster way, but it will always try to get you where you’re going as fast as possible,” Google said.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald