Google Maps letting both iOS and Android users report traffic jams, accidents, and speed traps

Google Maps is letting both iOS and Android users report traffic jams, accidents and speed traps just like its sister-app Waze

  • Google maps users can now report speed traps, jams, and hazards
  • The features will be included for both Android and iOS users
  • Many of those have long-been included in its sister-app Waze 

Google Maps has borrowed several features from the company’s other popular navigation app, Waze.

In a blog post, Google said its Maps users on iOS will now be able to report speed traps and traffic jams while users on both Android and iOS will be able to report both road hazards and incidents.

Google has also expanded the types of road hazards that can be reported through its incident feature to encompass ‘construction, lane closures, disabled vehicles, and objects on the road (like debris).’

Notifications regarding speed cameras and speed limits will now be available to users of Google Maps in 40 countries around the world

The new features combined with speed limits and trap alerts rolled out for Android users earlier this year have all worked to slowly make Google Maps indistinguishable from Waze, at least feature-wise. 

It was long-speculated that when Google purchased Waze for $1.1 billion five years ago that the features would be swiftly migrated to Google Maps, but the company has waited until recently to pull the trigger.

The company’s slowness on integrating Waze’s best features may be related to Google’s desire to keep the map’s app more of a platform for connecting users to businesses and destinations as opposed to strictly just a navigation app.

Google also may have been wary of potentially cannibalizing its other apps by making features interchangeable.  

Where navigation apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps tend to lead users along the same mainstream routes, Waze purports to give users alternatives using less trafficked back streets.

Whether Waze’s algorithm actually delivers on its promise of providing faster travel times through more alternative routes, however, remains a point of contention.

In one man’s test last year, Waze was found to consistently provide the most optimistic estimated travel travel times to users while delivering the least efficient outcome, while Google Maps tended to be almost or right on par with its projections.


Blogger Artur Grabowski collected data from 120 trips since early 2017. 

He measured his activity on Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze to determine which navigation service got their users to their destination quickest. 

For each trip, he randomly selected an app to use and recorded this data in each trip: 

Grabowski collected a data set (pictured) based on 120 trips taken via Apple Maps, Waze and Google Maps since early 2017

Grabowski collected a data set (pictured) based on 120 trips taken via Apple Maps, Waze and Google Maps since early 2017

  • Which app was randomly selected to follow for each trip (Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze) 
  • Estimated driving time for each app 
  • Departure and arrival time 
  • Traffic conditions (i.e. work commute hours or not) 
  • Weather conditions (i.e. rain or not) 
  • Driving type (i.e. >75% city, >75% highway, or mixed) 

From that data, he charted how often each app provided slower/faster trip time.

He also measured how often the app got users to their destination on time and if not, how often users arrived at their destination later than expected. 

From that, he combined the estimated trip times with estimation errors to arrive at an error adjusted estimated trip time.

This figure determined his key question: Which navigation app actually gets you to your destination most quickly? 

Based on his results, he determined that Google Maps gets users to their destination fastest .