The Pitfalls of Traffic Apps – Google Maps Shortcuts

For most of the casual or even professional drivers out there, traffic apps have become a must. Getting updates on potential traffic jams, as well as suggestions for shortcuts in order to avoid these is such a necessity in today’s car-filled cities that even old school apps like Google Maps started including such features. But did you ever stop to think about how these suggested shortcuts might potentially turn into a driver’s worst nightmare? Keep reading to find out more about the dark side of traffic apps.

When Apps Indicate the Same Shortcut

So, we all know there are the standard routes, and then there are those alternative ones that you were once able to discover only when you knew your city streets inside out. You don’t need a traffic app to tell you that, but you do need one to point you to the nearest shortcut. You no longer have to learn streets and routes yourself, which is a major advantage. But sometimes it can also be the biggest disadvantage in the world.

Imagine how the main roads on your route are the most intensely circulated ones. That’s a fact. So your navigation app suggests that you take this alternative route as well that goes through a random neighborhood because quiet housing areas are less likely to be crowded than intensely circulated boulevards. That’s all fine and well, but if your app says that to you, it most likely indicates the same route to all its other thousands of users in your city.

Thus, the traffic jam moves someplace else. And while for you it might be just a minor inconvenience, think of all the people that live there. Not only is their nice neighborhood suddenly flooded with cars, noise and smog, but now they can’t even pull out of their driveway to go buy groceries. So think about that next time you take an alternate route.