Google Maps now tells you how long a future trip will take

It's hard to know the perfect time to go somewhere, because there's no one outside mailmen and UPS drivers that really know when traffic is best in your city... except for Google Maps. With millions of users and millions more Waze users helping them graph traffic in real-time, day after day, Google Maps really can tell when the best time is to go run down to that trendy bistro downtown with a handy new chart.

The graph tells you how long your trip would take if you leave right now, the green bar, against the grey average times across the last half hour and next two hours. This can help you gauge whether traffic is better than average right now, or if you should consider going later when travel times are lower (like say after rush hour).

This could be a great help when planning errands or lunch dates, but given the relatively small window, it'd be nice to see this chart expand so we could see if it's better to go in the morning or afternoon, but it's still early days. It's currently available in the U.S. and UK, but hopefully, more markets will see it soon. This chart also appears to be a server-side push, as there was no app update before it appeared.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

14 Comments
  • I'm in Canada and it's showing up for me. So it's not just US & UK users
  • Cool As a side note - I just got a prompt from Google Services to make my home - a secure location. Another cool thing... Yes. .
  • C'mon Google. Add a speedometer and speed limits like every other Navigation app. Even Apple have saw sense and adding it with iOS11. I'm sick of having to pay for map overlays to do the job for you
  • Maybe just pay attention to your car and the road. Why would you actually need that on your phone?
  • Umm..... Because my phone is also my gps navigation in the car and van for work? It's mounted on my windscreen so it's always in sight and I don't have to look away, you know like at the speedometer which is behind the steering wheel and less accurate than GPS? It's kinda important to know what speed I'm doing and if I'm over the limit.
  • Gps is more accurate than the actual speedometer on your phone for one. Two, if you are travelling cross country or some place where you are not familiar with the roads, having the posted speed limit in a corner of the map would be an extreme convenience for allot of people. If you have ever travelled, how many times have you turned onto a road and found yourself curious what the speed limit was for miles because it wasn't posted for a while? Even my radar detector has gps and tells me my current speed and the posted limit.
  • Yeah, sorry just don't get it. Your speedometer is right in front of you and posted speed limits are posted. I guess we were all doing it wrong the previous 100 years.
  • Apparently you've never travelled, they aren't always posted. Actually, very often not posted at all, but I've also been across the entire us and canada quite a few times.
  • Somewhat recently we were all using paper maps too!
    This is a good use of technology. Sometimes you do get distracted by children or something and miss a speed limit sign; some roads are umm, strategically setup to have sudden speed limit variances (some towns north of us are notorious for that). Sometimes I have to ask my wife -- what is the speed limit -- I haven't seen a sign in ages! Our truck's GPS has the feature and I find it very valuable to glance at it and know on a road trip what the speed limit is.
  • I'm with you. It's nice to have them posted within the app. I sometimes miss those - actual - physical speed limit signs - yeah - more than a couple of times... So to have them posted or listed in the app is a very good thing. 👍
  • I agree with dov1978 about the need for speed limit indicators in Maps, although I don't think it's necessary to pay for map overlays. I use Waze when I am using my phone for navigation, since Waze can be set to show both the posted speed limit and my speed. Otherwise, I use my Garmin GPS, which also shows the posted speed limit and indicates when I exceed the limit. To those who dismiss this concern, for my part, I've noticed that it's not always clear on roadways what the speed limit is, even when the driver is paying attention. In the Washington DC area, there will be signs warning of speed cameras, but they aren't always posted with signs indicating what the speed limit is. (Don't get me started on the thinly ways that Washington DC uses automated enforcement as a money grab from drivers.) Since a speed camera ticket can cost at least $100, it's better to be sure of what the speed limit on a roadway is (especially in school zones) but the somewhat haphazard posting of speed limits signs by the government, especially near speed cameras, doesn't always make it easy. For my part, I wish Google would just combine Maps with Waze into one awesome app. My biggest gripe about Waze is there is no way to do crowd source notifications by voice. Having to touch small notification icons on a phone is difficult sometimes, and can be downright dangerous. I think Maps can be voice controlled by Google Assistant, but with crowd sourcing, Waze is better at giving real time traffic information.
  • Search Google Play for Amphebia. They've developed multiple apps that display within Maps app when run including Current Speed, Speed Limit(subscription (2.99/yr) and others. Some free others cost .99 to 1.49
  • That's the exact 2 apps I currently use as my map overlays. One is free the other is a yearly subscription. They work nice but in this day and age they should be built into Google Maps or Apple Maps. Every other Navigation App has this feature built in and has done for like ever.
  • Now it needs to be able to correctly tell you the arrival time when you are traveling across time zones. The Google maps on my wife's ickphone does this but my S7 doesn't and I update my apps far more frequently than she does