Google Maps gets new features — Including predictions for how crowded your Gautrain will be

Google has updated the latest version of its Maps navigation app with new features to improve users’ public transport experiences and give them a better overview of how much time they spent in different places.

The first big change is the expansion of Transit Crowdedness Predictions, which are now available in more than 10,000 transit agencies in 100 countries.

This feature allows Google Maps users to understand how busy a specific public transport system is to decide whether they want to use it.

“These predictions are made possible through our AI technology, contributions from people using Google Maps, and historical location trends that predict future crowdedness levels for transit lines all over the world,” the company explained in a blog post.

For example, users of the Gautrain who select the Public Transport tab and navigate from one station to the next will now see a “What’s it like on board?” section when selecting their route.

The transit crowdedness will be shown under this question, classified as one of the following:

  • Not crowded – Lots of seats open
  • Not too crowded – Some seats available
  • Crowded – Limited seating and standing
  • Very crowded – Limited standing
  • At capacity – Not taking passengers

Users will also be able to submit their own input on the conditions with one of the options above.

The images below show what the feature looks like on a trip between the Centurion and Hatfield Gautrain stations.

Another new feature for Android users is the Timeline Insights tab.

This feature provides monthly trends about how users navigate their world, with information such as the modes of transportation they’ve used, distances driven, flown, biked, or walked.

It also lets users see how much time they spend at different places — like shops, airports and restaurants.

The new feature can be accessed by clicking on your profile photo and selecting “Your Timeline”. Location History needs to be enabled to access this feature.

The Trips feature in the Timeline section is now also available to all Android users.

This gives you a breakdown of the hotels or accommodation you stayed at during getaways and lets you share them with friends who need travel recommendations.


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Google Maps gets new features — Including predictions for how crowded your Gautrain will be