Last week we wrote about how you could avoid traffic jams with Microsoft’s new Clearflow technology, a project that had been in the works for over five years. It’s not even been a week since Clearflow launched and now Google has launched their own version of a traffic predicting system. After reviewing both, each has its strengths and weaknesses.
The nicest feature about Google’s traffic avoiding system is that there’s a drop-down menu for a day and then a slider for the time so that you can choose a day and time that you’ll be going through a particular area to see what traffic might be like. They use data from past conditions to give you a rough estimate. Choosing a day and time is something that Microsoft unfortunately does not offer. One point goes to Google here.
What Google doesn’t offer is a re-routing feature which is something that Microsoft does offer. Microsoft allows users to have the system choose a route or receive an alternate route based on four years worth of real-world traffic data. The Clearflow technology is available in 72 cities while Google’s traffic system is available in only 30 major US metropolitan areas and partially in others. One point goes to Microsoft here.
To use the traffic prediction feature in Google Maps, just click on the Traffic button (which has been there for a while in certain cities) and if you’re in a supported city, you’ll be able to select a day and time that you’d like to see traffic conditions for.
Overall I wouldn’t say that Microsoft’s or Google’s system is superior to the other. They’re both useful for certain things and it’ll definitely be interesting to see how traffic predicting technology improves in the future.
Source: Google Operating System