On another navigation related topic; I was using Waze in a high-traffic city, where even the alternate routes have a lot of traffic. I was thinking, it surely would be possible for Waze to look back along my route and calculate which route would have been better for me.
E.g. if I drove from A via B, C, D, E towards Z, and there was an alternate route A-B-F-G-E-Z, and the route branches out at B (you can either take path B-C-D-E or path B-F-G-E), the app could find a car that was near me at point B, and went to F later on. It would then know the time I would have needed to drive from B to F. This ghost car doesn't need to go all the way to E, if it turned off at F, the app could find another car, one which at that point was at point F and later on drove to G (or better, E), and then see how much time they took. And so on for each segment of my alternate route...
what portion of all the other driver's around me also looking at google maps? Is Google Maps telling them to take the same alternate route as me? Are they all going to do it? If they all do it, does the alternate route (which likely can't handle as much traffic as the original route) just became as jammed as waiting in traffic? Or even worse, if they're all going to do what google maps says, would I in fact be much better off ignoring it and sticking to the original route?
It's hard to tell what's imagination/selection bias, but following google maps traffic-jam-avoidance suggestions has seemed disastrous enough to me enough times that I mostly just stick to the original route now. (Of course, one could also imagine using one's own route knowledge to pick an alternate route of one's own without google maps...)
I suppose google maps could be smart enough to tell half the people to go one way and half the other... I kind of doubt it is, but one could imagine a computerized route direction system which, if enough driver's had it, could actually maximize efficiency by sending different drivers different routes intentionally... I'm not holding my breath for it.
Now, let's say that the 200 car/min turns to a bottleneck of 100 car/min if it's overwhelmed 10 mins downstream of the turnoff. If google routes >200 car/min to the turnoff, there will eventually be a significant traffic jam: cars will pile up at the bottleneck, and even if waze stops routing to the turnoff at that point, the jam would still travel upwards like a pressure wave until it hits the turnoff.
I'd have a hard time believing it's possible for waze to know beforehand what those throughputs are, so some situations like this must occur.
Take the toy example illustrating that paradox ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braess%27s_paradox#Mathematica... ) and an enlightened Google maps may do the altruistic thing of telling half of the drivers to stick on the upper route and half of the drivers to stick to the bottom route, but then some 3rd-party app will come along with the "shortcut" down the middle.
Is there any competitor I can check to confirm best routes?
Let's say enough cars take the suggestion to slow down that route by 10 minutes and speed up this one by 10 minutes. Even if you end up saving five minutes relative to the original estimate, you'd have saved ten minutes staying put.
Various cities round the world have different optimization goals as they try out different approaches.
I usually avoid Google maps for traveling in areas that I don’t know. It takes you off on stupid routes that save marginal time (if any) too much. Waze is good for interstate travel, but IMO Apple is better for giving you the “right”, low drama route.
It’s both dangerous and anxiety inducing and doesn’t save time either.
As I got further and further away the "turn left here" and "turn right here" directions got more and more frequent, until eventually he just started repeating "turn around where possible" until I was able to find somewhere reasonable to stop and turn it off.
In localities with few/no roundabouts, the vast majority of accidents still happen at intersections. Intersections of roads are the most prone to accidents (for fairly obvious reasons), with or without roundabouts.
I believe there is research showing roundabouts are actually quite a bit safer in general, but it's possible it depends on various things. But anyway, accidents happen mostly where two roads intersect, either way.
Roundabouts make my bicycle commute way faster. This in The Netherlands where we cycle a lot. Difficulty or death is entirely incorrect. Suggest to compare the designs across countries, maybe there's a huge difference in the design?
It certainly seems to be a people problem rather than a roundabout deign issue from my experience?
People trying to "beat" people out onto the roundabout rather than giving way, people not using proper lane discipline and squeezing/cutting into other lanes etc..
Research shows the opposite. They can handle more traffic within a given timeframe. The bit about accidents seems strange. Not sure why you'd think that. I'm wondering if your roundabouts have some kind of design flaw.
Out in the countryside roundabouts in France operate in the "normal" way : approaching traffic yields to traffic already in the system, with the usual triangular "yield" sign making priority clear.
It's possible that your experience of French roundabouts is related to driver confusion between these two systems.
Strangely enough though it's one of the few things I miss about the city I grew up in (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) - lots of outdoor art and sculptures because they had lots of very large roundabouts (check Google images to see what I mean about the outdoor art).
I haven't experienced that for the many roundabouts we have in The Netherlands. Throughput is higher (can easily be measured), plus waiting time is lower thanks to roundabouts.
Not exactly sure what you mean with "burbs" though it doesn't matter as they're heavily used in cities here.
The avoiding tolls thing is absolutely terrible that way. Thankfully, they finally put in a new feature where it shows you alternate routes, with and without tolls, and tells you if they do or don't have tolls. It took years for this to come about even though I had requested it many times, and it's plainly obviously needed. But before this, it was all-or-nothing, and it wasn't easy to change on the fly, and having it on was bad because it would frequently try to route me onto an expensive toll lane even though there was zero time savings, but for other routes a toll road was absolutely necessary.
They should have it weight left turns higher (as in worse) so that routes tend to avoid them. When I drive to work, I can take my normal exit, and only take right turns, or if I miss it, I can take the next exit, but there's a terrible left turn there with a very long light. Google Maps consistently says "1 minute longer" for this route: BS. It might be about the same if you happen to catch the light, otherwise it's 5 minutes longer. I feel like their algorithm really doesn't take this into account well.
I often use Navigon I keep in a (very old) iPhone, it has a fantastic feature that you can download the maps for countries. I like it better for long distance driving than Google Maps.
It's my impression that Google Maps does the latter; Waze is known for taking wild routes that are nominally faster. I'm not sure that I see a basis for complaint, as they're just offering a choice of different route objectives to optimize for (I know people who explicitly use Waze because they prefer its aggressive optimization to Maps). I suppose a toggle would be nice though.
The backroads also has a 25% or so chance of getting stopped by a train. Big massive transcontinental train connecting the biggest port complex in the US to the rest of the country. Takes about ten minutes. Last time I hit the train, as it was almost done, a train came the other way.
Haven't taken that route since, despite the fact that it saves two minutes, sometimes more if there's traffic on the freeway. It's not a good value proposition.
These map apps make a conscious decision to deliver this user experience.
Now I live in Europe, presumably you live in the US (sorry if that's wrong). Is there any particular difficulties with doing left turns compared to right turns where you live?
gMaps took us to the restaurant on the shortest path - straight through the heart of Tenderloin. My girlfriend was sketched out as heck and almost made us take an Uber.
On our way back from the restaurant, we used Apple Maps. It took us on what looked like a longer route but lo and behold, it took a wiiiide berth around the Tenderloin. We saw not a single sketchy thing on our entire night time walk.
Don’t know if it was a coincidence or Apple Maps really has an “avoid seedy areas” model. The route was way simpler at least. 2 or 3 turns compared to gMaps’s 15
And grid geometry means Apple Maps was only 2min slower. But way nicer and easier to navigate.
Microsoft patented such an "avoid ghetto" idea year ago, but people got mad and called it racist:
Because, as we all know, trying to avoid getting mugged or carjacked is racist.
It's a diverse place of seed and rich. It's a very future feeling place. The experience made me think this is a slice of what the future will look like. It's kinda has this dystopian gothic novel feel. The mini subways (barts) are automated and cool and look like they are in the future but look like they are falling apart too. You get this weird post apocalyptic feeling of a future that has come and gone but hasn't reached you yet
Yeah, no. BART doesn't have station agents watching the doors, and human drivers are a common occurrence on pretty much every subway system in the world.
Next thing you know, (SF) City politicians are up in arms about why Apple is "blackballing" Tenderloin, and rake up past issues such as red-lining, ghettos, etc.
We relied on GMaps on a recent (my first ever) visit to Malta, and it took us through some pretty dodgy, steep and narrow, local roads on our way in.
We didn't know of this GMaps' preference of, erm, interesting routes, so we figured that's just how Malta is. A few days later and, of course, we learn there's a perfectly normal, pleasant route that took us there in as little time as the dodgy one...
Which feels like a lot of what people complain Google Maps does...
I have a route I take, and let's say I split it up with A-B-C. now Google Maps tells me that AB-BC takes an hour, but AB'-BC' is 15 minutes faster.
It usually turns out that the time delay is on the later leg. So I could take AB or AB', it doesn't matter, and then BC' is the faster choice later on.
I wish Google Maps wouldn't show me AB', because it's misleading. At best it should say AB' is the same ETA. But clicking on it means that some route near the end of my drive is now different, it doesn't actually save me time for my current divergence. It's misleading.