Friday, March 30, 2012

Google Maps Now Offer Real-time Arrival Estimations

If you are going somewhere and need to get there as quickly as possible, Google Maps can now offer you some assistance.

Google Maps has upgraded and now allows users to see an estimated arrival time based on real-time traffic conditions. When you go to Google Maps and search for directions to wherever you are going, you will now have a few options. You will be shown several different routes on the map with arrival times based on if there is no traffic, as well as different routes with arrival times based on the current traffic conditions at that time.

"In areas where the information is available, this new and improved feature evaluates current traffic conditions and is constantly being refreshed to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date estimate possible," wrote Szabolcs Payrits, the software engineer for Google Maps, in a post on Thursday, March 30.

Some people might remember that in the past Google Maps had something similar to the estimated travel-time based on traffic conditions. It used to say something to the effect that if there was traffic, it could take this long to arrive at your destination. However, these estimated times were based on historic traffic data. Now, Google Maps will be much more helpful with the real-time traffic updates.

"We hope being able to plan your travels based on current traffic information saves you time and perhaps even prevents some road frustration," Payrits wrote. "Happy driving!"

Sources: PCMag - Google Maps Directions Gets Real-Time Traffic and Google Blog - Find out you trip duration based on current traffic

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Friday, March 9, 2012

FAA Claims Air Travel to Double by 2032

FAAIt seems as if the airline industry, surprisingly, has a very good chance of making some profit over the next 20 years as demand for air travel starts to grow around the world. What's even better, for passengers at least, is that the price of flying will only increase slowly over that time, meaning no outrageous jumps in prices like other things *cough*GasPrices*cough*.

This prediction comes by way of a Federal Aviation Administration report that was released on Thursday. The report was over the current state of the United States airline industry and the FAA Aerospace Forecast Fiscal Years 2012-2032.

According to the report, "Over the long term, we see a competitive and profitable industry characterized by increasing demand for air travel and airfares growing more slowly than inflation. Going to the next decade, there is cautious optimism that the industry has been transformed from that of a boom-to-bust cycle to one of sustainable profits."

In addition to that, the report predicts more demand for air travel despite rising oil prices and the current economic uncertainty seen in both the United States and Europe. The report predicts that the airline industry will grow from 731 million passengers in 2011 to 1.2 billion in 2032. Air traffic growth for United States carriers is also expected to increase by over 90% during that same period. U.S. growth increased by 3.5% in 2011 and, according to FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta, "This year, more people will be flying more miles, and we expect that to continue in future years."

The FAA does admit that forecasting things like this is extremely difficult, especially in times of such severe economic uncertainty. According to the report, "Due to the large uncertainty of the operating environment, the variance around the forecasts is wider than it was in prior years."

Source: Chicago Tribune - Air travel to nearly double in next 20 years, FAA says

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