There are two simple reasons why Google Maps is the best app for navigating through traffic: It has the most data, and it uses that data in the smartest way.
“Google is the most widely used [mapping app] and it has the biggest volume of sensors,” Marc Prioleau, the managing director of Prioleau Advisors, a location services consulting firm in California, told Tech Insider in an interview. “I think you could also say it has the most sophisticated application.”
Those “sensors” Prioleau referred to are our smartphones. All Android phones that have location services turned on, and all iPhones that have Google Maps open, send anonymous bits of data back to Google, which helps the company determine how traffic is flowing.
So when we’re sitting in traffic, we’re sending Google information alerting people not to make the same mistake we made.
Google combines this with historical traffic data it’s built up over the years, information from Waze, a crowd-sourced traffic app the company bought in 2013, and incident reports from local departments of transportation, to provide the fastest route from point A to point B.
More than 1 billion people around the world use Google Maps each month.
“I think it’s a combination of the very high volume of data, both from Google and Waze, combined with very intelligent applications that answer the question that drivers are asking,” Prioleau said, which is, “‘How do I get there the quickest?'”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.