Imagine you’re driving to meet a friend. As you approach a busy intersection, the traffic slows suddenly and you have to slam on your brakes. According to research from experts at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, these hard-braking moments — incidents along a route that cause a driver to sharply decelerate — can be a leading indicator of car crash likelihood. Soon, Google Maps will reduce your chances of having hard-braking moments along your drive thanks to help from machine learning and navigation information.
Here’s how it works: Every time you get directions in Maps, we calculate multiple route options to your destination based on several factors, like how many lanes a road has and how direct a route is. With this update, we’ll take the fastest routes and identify which one is likely to reduce your chances of encountering a hard-braking moment. We’ll automatically recommend that route if the ETA is the same or the difference is minimal. We believe that these changes have the potential to eliminate 100 million hard-braking events in routes driven with Google Maps each year, so you can rely on Maps to get you from A to B quickly — but also more safely.