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Traffic jam avoidance with Google Navigation
On my last car trip in Germany (from Munich to the north) Google Navigation told me to turn off the freeway. I thought, now it is broken, a stupid bug in the software, and continued on the freeway.
1 km (0.6 miles) on I stood in a bad traffic jam.
After slowly negotiating that traffic jam, I continued on, and the same thing happened again. Google Nav told me to drive off the freeway, just before it joined another one where I had planned to turn right (towards Dresden, if anybody knows Germany).
This time I was wiser and checked the traffic situation on Google Navigation (tap the three dots and select the first menu choice). Sure enough there was another traffic jam right in front of me.
So I followed Google's advice and turned off. Driving along a beautiful highway down in a valley at fairly high speed there was one place where I could see the freeway higher up to my left. All cars were standing in what must have been a miles-long traffic jam.
When I rejoined the freeway after a couple more miles, traffic was easy, and I had probably saved myself at least 15 minutes, if not more.
This indicates something relatively new to me—a smartphone can save you quite a bit of time. Only Google Nav can do the thing I just described, because only Google has the timely traffic information from people with Android phones both in the traffic jam and on the alternative route. They can compare the times and direct you to the faster route.
Of course this will no longer work as well when everybody uses it, but for now I enjoy the advantage.
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