Since the state of the pandemic varies around the world, the new normal looks different depending on where you go.
But no matter your situation, Google Maps has some useful new tools to help you navigate and explore as safely as possible.
Not surprisingly, the number of transit passengers plummeted during the early days of the pandemic. While people are returning to public transportation, with a 50% increase in transit directions on Maps compared to last year in the US, safety remains a priority.
This is why Google Maps is expanding traffic saturation predictions to over 10,000 transit agencies in 100 countries, so you’ll know if your line is likely to have a lot of open seats, to reach full capacity, or to be somewhere in between.
With this information you can decide if you want to get on board or wait for another train. Whether it’s a pandemic or not, no one likes standing in a crowded subway car.
These predictions are made possible by our artificial intelligence technology, contributions from people using Google Maps, and historical location trends that predict future crowding levels for transit lines around the world.
‘All of these predictions were designed with privacy in mind. Google said in a statement: “We apply world-class anonymization technology and differential privacy techniques to Location History data to make sure your data remains safe and private. “
In New York and Sydney, we are testing the ability to view live overcrowding information down to the level of transit vehicles.
This feature is based on data from agencies like Long Island Rail Road and Transport for New South Wales, with more cities coming soon.
So what is the trend of traffic overcrowding in the US? New York City, Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington DC lead the pack as some of the cities with the busiest lines.
Nationwide, you’re more likely to get a seat at 9 a.m., while cars may have room to stand only between 7-8 a.m.
At night, leaving before rush hour will increase your chances of getting a seat, as the lines will be much less crowded at 3pm than between 4 and 5pm.
Be intentional with your time
After living through a global pandemic, people have told us that they want to be more intentional about how they spend their time. The new Timeline Insights tab, which only you can see, can help you do just that.
If you are an Android user and have chosen to activate Location historyYou will see a new tab on your Timeline (just tap on your profile photo, then Your Timeline to find it) that provides monthly trends on how you are browsing the world.
You will see what means of transportation you have used and the distance and time that you have driven, flown, cycled or walked. You can also see how much time you spend in different places, such as shops, airports, and restaurants, and instantly drill down to see all the places you’ve visited.
Remember past trips and plan future ones when you feel safe
If you’re feeling nostalgic but not ready to travel yet, head over to the Travel tab on the timeline, which is now available to everyone on Android.
Use Timeline Tours to relive parts of past vacations, like the hotels you stayed at during that epic trip to Tokyo or the restaurants you visited on your weekend getaway.
Planning for the future? Export these places to a list and share them with friends who need travel recommendations.
It will take a while to get used to navigating this ever-changing “normalcy,” but Google Maps is here to help you get your bearings. Check out some more useful tips to help you plan and get around, whether you’re using Google Maps on Android or iOS.
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