Google Maps will now warn drivers about upcoming speed traps as it takes another page from Waze


Google Maps is finally borrowing some of users’ favorite features from its sister app Waze, including speed limits and traffic camera notifications. 

According to a report from ZDnet, the speed camera feature, which presents an icon when one of the devices is nearby, have been rolled out in 40 countries overall, including Australia, the UK, US, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, India, and Indonesia. 

Speed limits are available in the UK, US, and Denmark and will represented to users in digits located in the lower-third of the app, says the report.

While those features may be new to Google Maps, they have long helped to court an audience for another popular navigation app, Waze. 

It was long-speculated that when Google purchased Waze for $1.1 billion five years ago that the features would be swiftly migrated to Google Maps, but the company has waited until recently to pull the trigger. 

As noted by TechCrunch, the company’s slowness on integrating Waze’s best features may be related to Google’s desire to keep the map’s app more of a platform for connecting users to businesses and destinations as opposed to strictly just a navigation app.

Google also may have been wary of potentially cannibalizing its other apps by making features interchangeable. 

TechCrunch also notes that, similar to Waze’s functionality, Android users will be able to report accidents and traffic in a type of crowd-sourcing meant to make the app more up-to-date, while iOS users won’t have this option. 

In addition to its crowd-sourcing and added speed features, Waze has appealed to many users because of its differing algorithm. 

Where navigation apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps tend to lead users along the same mainstream routes, Waze purports to give users alternatives using less trafficked back streets. 

Whether Waze’s algorithm actually delivers on its promise of providing faster travel times through more alternative routes, however, remains a point of contention. 

In one man’s test last year, Waze was found to consistently provide the most optimistic estimated travel travel times to users while delivering the least efficient outcome, while Google Maps tended to be almost or right on par with its projections. 

The addition of speed features to Google Maps will mark the most significant update to its navigation capabilities since the company added a ‘commute’ tab in October. 

Google’s commute feature offers live updates and alternative routes to commuters who may be traveling during periods of heavy traffic.  


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