Google is bringing another useful Waze feature to its Maps product: slowdown warnings. This feature is different than the existing color-coded congestion warnings, which take some time to appear and alert users to traffic jams using yellow, orange, and red color codes. This new feature is arguably better, as it enables drivers to report slowdowns directly.
The navigation app Waze offers a number of features that users wanted to see added to Google Maps for years. These include the ability to alert other drivers about police presence, traffic cameras, wrecks, obstructions on the road, and slowdowns. Google finally started bringing some of these features to Google Maps last year.
Last summer, word surfaced that an incident report feature had been enabled for a small number of Android users. The feature disappeared for a while, then returned, ultimately rolling out for many more users starting around December 2018. Google Maps users have the ability to report crashes and speed traps.
Joining those report options is the newly deployed ability to report slowdowns. The feature is listed in the Google Maps app via the incident reporting button recently added to the main navigation screen. The feature appears to only be available to some users at this point, though, and may take a while to arrive for everyone.
By directly reporting slowdowns, drivers are able to immediately alert Google Maps to a traffic jam, crowdsourcing the alert and potentially speeding up the time it takes Google to start alerting drivers. It’s unclear whether the feature is only deploying for Android users at this time.