Google earlier this year added a neat Waze feature to Google Maps meant to improve your navigation experience: Crowdsourced traffic data. After having been spotted in testing for several months, the incident reports feature rolled out to Google Maps for Android, featuring support for two different types of reports, including Speed traps and Crashes.
Moving forward, Google is bringing support for a brand new kind of incident report to the mobile app that will let you easily mark traffic slowdowns.
What’s great about this particular feature is that it might help you improve your commutes by reducing the time you spend stuck in traffic. As Android Police explains, the more Google Maps users become aware of the feature and start using it, the better the Google Maps navigation experience will get.
That’s because the app will be able to adapt faster to heavy traffic conditions and suggest alternate routes to avoid the slowdown ahead well before you reach it. That’s one of the great tricks about Waze, which will reroute you using a faster route when traffic jams are detected.
As it is right now, Google Maps will automatically notify you about heavy traffic ahead, but that information isn’t based on crowdsourced data. Nor is it very fast or convenient, as it might not give you enough time to try to avoid getting stuck in traffic.
As before with the Crash and Speed traps incident reports, you won’t have to do anything to get the new Slowdown menu item (see image above). It’ll just appear in the Add a report menu of the Google Maps app for Android, as you can see above. Then again, Google does these feature rollouts in phases, so don’t be surprised if you end up having to wait a while for the feature to launch in your market.