If you’re a regular commuter, Google may have greatly expanded the utility of its Google Now app with a new feature that lets you know if you’re heading near a traffic accident.
As the company explained in a Google Plus update:
You know the feeling. You’re just miles from home when all of a sudden you see brake lights ahead—a sure sign of an incident on the road. Starting today, you’ll have a better chance of making it around the traffic. With the latest update to the #GoogleSearch app for Android, Google Now will send you a notification if you’re likely to hit a traffic incident along your drive—without you even having to ask. That way, you can get off at that earlier exit and cruise through the back roads.
Google had previously incorporated data from Waze to provide real-time traffic info for Google Now, its personal assistant app. Google bought the Israeli Waze for $1.1 billion last June. Google Now is available on Android and iOS mobile devices and, as of Monday, on desktops using Chrome.
Introduced in 2012, Google Now both answers users’ queries and offers them data the program thinks they will want. The latter is based on information it gets from tracking users’ activities.