If the above headline makes you curious, welcome to the Curious Club. I myself, like many people, was curious to know this and had this question in my mind from a long time.
So how does Google know Live traffic Conditions?
Maybe Google is tracking us via Satellites? the fact that Google Maps has mapped every tiny part of the planet earth so precisely that many people think it also monitors the traffic via the satellites. It is not true,
then what the real answer?
Well, the answer is quite simple, it takes the data from people like you and me.
There are over 1.5 billion smartphones being used right now, and most of them have got Google Maps installed.
Google uses the crowdsourced data, that is data taken from each mobile phone and calculates the traffic in your local area.
Ever noticed when you are out at some place, like a Cafe or a Shopping Mall, knows where you are. That is because it is tracking your locations, and you may probably have allowed it at the time of setting up your phone.
So, the people driving their Vehicles on the road have got their phones with the Google collects their data and calculates the speed and the number of the vehicles that are on the road and tells you the traffic conditions in real time.
Now, these calculations are not 100% accurate but are helpful enough to decide what route will be fastest to reach your destinations.
It’s not just Google Maps that access your location, there are other apps that want to know where you are to offer you better service like Facebook has this feature called ‘Nearby Friends’ that will show you the real-time location of your friends. It even notifies you when a friend is near you.
Though it might be creepy for a few people to share their locations and Facebook allows you to disable that.
My favorite feature that uses locations is the Location based Alarms, a feature of Google Keep to remind you to pick something up from a particular market if you are near it. Read about more features here.