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(Pocket-lint) - Google Maps has been offering "traffic conditions" within its app for sometime now. While those different road colours showed traffic, like red for congested, the latest "traffic alerts" does even more.

Previously it was possible to see if there was traffic on a road in your Google Maps route or in navigation mode. Now the Maps actively takes traffic into account, live, and offers alternate options and more.

Now when you plan a route Google Maps will show you upcoming traffic to help you pick the quickest option. On top of that it will notify you if congestion has appeared ahead and will let you know how long you will be delayed if you stay on the same route. Or you can choose alternate routes with explanations of why that route is better – like if it's fastest or avoids more accidents.  

Google announced the update in time for the US Memorial Day. It did so while also showing off trends of people's searches and journeys from the year before. That way it was possible to plan a trip based on what was most popular, or to avoid the traffic by doing whichever was least common. Google didn't say it would use this method to help plan routes in future but it seems like a smart idea.

TomTom Go Navigation App is a premium mobile navigation app for all drivers, with a three-month free trial

The latest Google Maps with traffic alerts is available now.

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Writing by Luke Edwards. Originally published on 26 May 2015.