Google (GOOG) said Wednesday afternoon that its maps now factor in traffic when calculating drive times. For example, Google Maps might say that a trip takes an hour under normal conditions, but an hour and 50 minutes with traffic.
From a post on Google’s LatLong blog, which covers the company’s efforts in mapping and location services:
Google Maps now
lets you know how long a drive might take in rush-hour traffic, for a
limited set of metropolitan areas. Of course, if there is an accident,
the drive could take even longer. But more likely than not, your drive
to Half Moon Bay will take between 59 minutes and 1 hour 50 minutes.
The app also allows users to change routes by dragging the route line to a different road. Yahoo (YHOO) Maps and Microsoft’s Live Search, two of Google’s main competitors, do not yet calculate traffic drive times.