Google Maps’ commute mode aims to remove the stress of travelling to work
If Google Maps wasn’t useful enough already, Google has introduced a new commute mode to make travelling to work easier.
Maps already has a slew of features we take for granted, including bus times, traffic warnings and travel time estimates. Now, instead of being scattered across the app, these features are aggregated in a single “commute mode”. Announced in a Google blog post, this new Maps mode aims to streamlines the process of calculating your daily commute.
The commute tab, coming to Google Maps in an upcoming update on Android, iOS and PC, helps users plan their journey to and from work. The app works out if your commute to work will take longer due to traffic, if it’s quicker along a different route, or if it can’t be done due to transportation malfunctions.
Commutes using a multitude of different travel types are included in the calculations, as many people drive or cycle to a train station, or must walk some distance from a car park. Somewhat crazily, the app lets you know if you won’t make the train at your current walking pace, or have time to pop into a nearby Tesco for a pasty before the bus reaches you.
While using the app to travel you’ll be able to easily listen to music, as Google has announced Spotify, Google Play Music and Apple Music are all available within Google maps as widgets. This is a fantastic update for drivers, for whom switching between various apps to find directions and change music can be dangerous.
On top of this, you can now use the app to view buses or trains on a map, a la Amazon deliveries or Uber pickups. By tracking them in real-time, you’ll be able to put off leaving the pub until the very last minute. This feature isn’t available everywhere immediately, and will expand to more locations over time.
In Sydney, this feature has been expanded to allow users to view how crowded transport is which, again, will roll out to the rest of the world over time. Of course this isn’t necessary in London, as you can safely assume transport is always crowded.
Google Maps commute update is a useful service for those who are constantly on the move. It’s already invaluable for finding route times and transport information and, by combining these features into an automated process, it’ll help save time when it matters — when you’re barely awake before work.
For now, it’s not clear if and when the update will be available in the UK, as the announcement only specifies North American and Australian availability. We’ve reached out to Google for clarification, and are waiting for a response.