Google knows a lot about traffic

Yer man @LimerickCycleDesign posted about real-time traffic on Google Maps:

What’s that… a drop-down menu for live traffic. What else is there? Typical traffic display:

You can choose typical traffic by the day of the week, and time of day.

It shows my little street in Mayorstone has enough traffic to show up on their map:

You can plan your journey using typical travel times, and compare alternative routes:

And it can tell you how long that journey will take if you avoid tolls (the Limerick Tunnel) which takes 10 minutes longer:

About 10 mins longer to avoid the toll, but at least you feel like you’re winning.

Think about how Google collects this info, by the way. I used to naively think they had installed a network of traffic detectors. Of course not, it’s info from people’s phones. They essentially have global traffic data at their A.I. fingertips.

What could they tell us, as a society? The delta between the speed limit and average limit, throughout the road network. The number of people travelling different routes to similar destinations. Model what it could be like if you closed off or restricted certain roads.

The data is there for us to play with. It’s up to us to use it.