Commuting. In some way or another, most of us commute to work. This commute dictates so much from the jobs we choose, the cities we live in, even the way we physically get to work. Although you may already use Google Maps on your commute, Google has added new features to make even the most enjoyable commutes, bearable.
The knowledge that you have a long commute ahead of you when you get up and head into the office and again when you pack up and leave at the end of the workday. It’s nothing but stressful. This frustration and stress spills over into so many other aspects of our life, like getting enough sleep, or making sure to eat a balanced diet. Starting and ending your workday like that can also negatively affect the rest of your day, week, and weekend.
According to historical Google Maps data, people in North America spend a full day per month commuting — which almost adds up to a two-week vacation each year. A full day! Imagine the things you could do with an extra 24 hours a month. Google is trying to help you take control of your commute. Making the unpredictable, predictable. Alleviating some of the stress that comes from your commute by letting you plan in advance and avoid some disruptions. Let’s see what new features will help with that.
The Commute Tab
Google Maps now has a commute tab that provides specific information relative to your commute. This feature will help you plan accordingly whether you can leave on time or need to head out earlier than usual. You’ll also have access to alternative routes to help you arrive on time if there happens to be some sort of delay. On Android, you’ll receive real-time notifications about delays and changes to your route before you get caught in the middle of a traffic jam.
Support for Mixed Commutes
This is probably one of the coolest new features on the app, support for multiple commute types. Now you can see arrival times and traffic information for each part of your commute. Everything from the drive in all the way to the walk to the station to the arrival time of the bus or train. Google factors all needed forms of commute into your ETA so you know exactly when you’ll arrive.
One of the most common problems with public transportation is you make your plans based on a specific train or bus and then get there just in time to see that it’s delayed or canceled. Not the best way to start the day. But what if you could see exactly where your bus or train is and if it’s on time or delayed? Now you can. Available in over 80 regions worldwide, you will now have real-time access to the map so you can see where it’s at and what the status is. This takes the guesswork out so you can plan your day more efficiently. In Sydney, Google partnered with Transport New South Wales to show how packed the bus is so you’ll know in advance whether or not you’ll be able to get on that bus or have to wait for another one. They’ll be expanding this to other cities around the globe in the future.
For most commuters, music is what gets them through the traffic jams, the delayed trains, the packed bus rides home. Google has made Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music available within Google Maps so that you can control your music and podcasts right from Google Maps navigation. Gone are the days of switching back and forth through multiple apps while commuting. Fewer distractions mean safer driving.
The new commute features start rolling out this week on both Android and iOS. To get started, update your app from the Play Store or App Store.