Google Maps Now Estimates Drive Time At Rush Hour

According to the Google Lat Long Blog, the search engine has added a feature to Google Maps that provides a realistic estimate of drive time in traffic at peak times or when there’s an accident.

After you do a search for directions, you’ll see both an optimal drive time and an outer range.

For example, with this search for Newport Beach to downtown Los Angeles, you’re told in the left-hand column under “Drive:”

43.6 mi – about 52 mins up to 1 hour 40 mins in traffic

See the second line with the “in traffic” estimate?

It’s not clear how many people take those idealized travel time estimates seriously but this is an effort to be more realistic, which is helpful.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • gary price

    a href=””>Inrix is one of several providers of real time traffic providers/aggregators and they also traffic predictions.

    Inrix technology is used with many GPS devices that offer real time traffic like Telenav, TomTom, and others. Inrix comes from Microsoft Research.

    “Inrix is the exclusive beneficiary of years of research and millions of dollars of development by Microsoft Research into the statistical inference of traffic patterns, predictive analysis and mobile-based visualizations of real time systems. Inrix has built upon Microsoft’s patented, proprietary technologies to enable the delivery of next generation traffic information services.”

    The have a bit more about their traffic prediction technology

  • gary price

    Forgot to mention that you can get an idea of Inrix “predictive” technology in action via

    Estimates for the for the SF Bay Area from

    Estimates for NYC metro from

    Estimates for Orange County, CA from

    Other companies in this space are LandSonar and TrafficCast.
    You can try a demo of their technology (via RouteCast, a LandSonar user) here on the WRAL web site in Raleigh-Durham, NC. I would bet it’s there, somewhere, but I was unable to find any predictive info.

    What I think is most useful here (it’s also available on SkylineGlobe. is the embedding of live traffic cams in the map.

    Finally, TrafficCast is also working in China and developing the “world largest” network of celluar probes in Shanghai.

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