General Question

La_chica_gomela's avatar

What goes into the algorithm Google Maps uses to calculate the suggested time of a given trip?

Asked by La_chica_gomela (12547points) May 26th, 2010

Does it assume the user will be driving the speed limit? Does it even have access to speed limits? Does it “know” where or how many traffic lights, stop signs, or school zones might be along a given route? It seems like for some areas the timing predictions are a lot more accurate than others. I know it’s just a guideline, but there are certain areas of town that are consistently wildly inaccurate.

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6 Answers

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Lightlyseared's avatar

Don’t forget Google has driven it’s little street view cars down pretty much every road. They could probably have got data about how long it takes to drive each road while they were taking photos.

jrpowell's avatar

Keep in mind that google sells a popular cellphone with their OS and a GPS. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google isn’t using that mountain of data to help with estimates now.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

The distances involved and the average expected speed of travel are thr major factors.

RocketSquid's avatar

There’s probably additional time thrown in for things like red lights, stop signs and crosswalks. Every time I use Google maps or my Tom Tom I usually beat the ETA by a good amount, and I don’t speed.

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