Heading to a critical meeting and trying to ensure you have the right directions to get there on time? As long as you’ve been to your destination before, Google Maps may be able to help.
Google has added a new feature — dubbed Driving Mode — to its Maps app. The feature, which was first spotted by the tech blog Android Police, uses past Web searches and location history to predict destinations, while relaying up-to-the-minute traffic information and an estimated time of arrival to the destination.
In trying to be as accurate as possible, the mapping app analyzes the places you’ve already been, your work and home locations (either inferred by repeat visits or stored by users in the app) and searches for possible destinations in the general search engine or in the Maps app.
Armed with all this data, plus other information like the time of day, Google Maps is able to suggest destinations unprompted. So, if you’ve been ‘Googling’ a certain restaurant and then launched Maps, the app will notice that and give you the directions when you set off.
There are two ways to access Google Maps Driving Mode.
The simplest way is to add a driving shortcut, which you can easily do by pressing your home screen, tap Android widgets and then select the app’s driving shortcut icon. The other option is to go to Google Maps, tap the sidebar menu and then select ‘Start Driving.’
When you put your destination into Google Maps, the resulting direction will not only help you get to your destination, but it may also help in tracking mileage in case you forgot to check your odometer before you started.
With Google Maps Driving Mode, it probably won’t be long before small businesses start using Google Maps to keep track of business mileage for tax deduction purposes. There are already a few apps that can track mileage and the Everlance app, for instance, is available to users for free.
Image: Google Maps/YouTube