Back in June 2019, Google introduced the transit crowdedness estimates on its Maps that lets you avoid crowds in buses, trains, or the subway. That feature was initially available in 200 cities around the globe and now, Google is expanding it to over 10,000 transit agencies in 100 countries, helping more people find open seats in mass transit or avoid it if it’s jam-packed and wait for another train because social distancing is important during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Google says these predictions are made using its AI technology, contributions from Google Maps users, and historical location trends through the Location History data, which is kept private using anonymization technology.
The Internet search giant also announced that it’s testing live crowdedness predictions in New York and Sydney, allowing you to see how crowded an individual transit car is. The data for this feature is provided by transit agencies Long Island Rail Road and Transport for New South Wales, and the feature will be rolled out in more cities soon.
Google also introduced a new Insights tab for Google Maps users on Android, which can be accessed from your Timeline if you’ve turned on Location History. As evident from its name, the Insights tab will provide data about which modes of transportation you’ve used and the distance and time you have walked, biked, driven, or flown. It will also tell you how much time you’ve spent at different places.
Another tab that’s live for Android users in their Maps Timeline is Trips, which shows all the past places you’ve visited and allows you to export them as a list if someone wants travel recommendations.
Lastly, Google now lets Maps users leave more detailed reviews of restaurants by allowing them to share more information about the meal pricing, food availability, and whether they got takeout or delivery. This feature is live for all restaurants in the US for Android and is rolling out to iOS. Google has promised to add more categories and countries to the list soon.