Google Maps' new update helps people avoid crowds on public transport

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Google Maps has introduced a feature to help people avoid crowded public transportation.

The transit crowd prediction update - which makes its estimates based on AI technology, user feedback and location trends - covers 10,000 systems in 100 countries.

In a blog post, Eric Tholome - Director of Product, Google Maps - said: "While people are returning to public transit — with transit directions on Maps increasing 50% compared to last year in the U.S. — safety remains top of mind.

"That’s why we’re expanding transit crowdedness predictions to over 10,000 transit agencies in 100 countries so you’ll know if your line is likely to have lots of open seats, hit full capacity, or be anywhere in between. With this information you can decide whether you want to hop on board or wait for another train.

"Because pandemic or not, no one likes standing in a jam-packed subway car."

They added that privacy and security is still a priority, which means the Maps update will make use of anonymisation technology and differential privacy to hide your location history from others.