Whenever you have to go anywhere there's always a worry about how many other people are going in the same direction. If you're in a car you're lucky because you can get traffic alerts on your phone that suggest diversions, but what about public transport? If you get to the bus stop and the bus is nearly full, you're in for a hellish ride, so what if there was a way to see how busy it is in advance?
Google has announced it is launching such a feature today, using data from past rides to predict just how busy your bus, train, or tube carriage is likely to be at any given time. Which will be nice for people who are travelling to or from somewhere that isn't London. London is included in the list of cities this new feature will apply too, but anyone who's been to London will know that its public transport is rammed with people for 23 hours of each day.
On top of this Google will also be rolling out real-time traffic data for buses, so you can see just how delayed your usual bus is based on the current traffic conditions. That way you can leave the house early and still make it to work on time.
The feature is rolling out to Google Maps on Android and iOS, with over 200 global towns and cities being included at launch. 18 of them are in the UK, and include Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Crawley, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading, Sheffield, and Southampton. Reading and Crawley are probably included to show people how difficult it is to leave on a given day. It's the only explanation I can think of anyway.