Google Maps users in India can now be fore-warned of awful traffic on the roads – either via their computers, or in the Google Maps app. The new live traffic feature rolls out today in five major Indian cities: Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Pune, and Hyderabad. All it takes is enabling the new “traffic” layer. Also new today is turn-by-turn voice-guided driving directions which’ll work across the whole of India – giving folks a free alternative to in-car GPS systems.
As for the live traffic feature in Google Maps, it shows live data as color-coded lines to give a simple view of streets or intersections to avoid – as shown in the screenshot above for a section of downtown Hyderabad. In addition to that, local users can opt to view the typical traffic at a certain time of day to help make a better judgement about routes to take.
India is a bit late in getting this neat Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) traffic feature; the live data rolled out in Indonesia last summer, for example. One other hiccup is that voice search within the app works only in English for now – and the in-car navigation might be sketchy in parts of the nation with poor 2G or 3G coverage.
Nonetheless, it’s good news for India’s web users, and a clear sign that Google is investing in services for the country. In an announcement accompanying the launch today, Darren Baker, the product manager for Google Maps, said:
We’re extremely excited to bring Google Maps Navigation and live traffic information to Google Maps users in one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing markets for online maps, and we’re confident that these features will help Indian users find their way around town with greater ease and convenience than ever before.
The turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation for India is available only in the Google Maps for Android app. Get it here.