Google presses 'update' to bypass traffic jams

Google doesn't like to get stuck in the slow lane, and it's assuming users of its Google Maps Navigation smartphone app don't either.

The company has updated its Google Maps Navigation (Beta) app for Android smartphones so that it will now automatically route you around traffic jams.

"With more than 35 million miles driven by Navigation users every day, this should add up to quite a bit of time saved!" says Google Maps Team software engineer Roy Williams.

Navigation users don't have to configure anything within the app to bypass the traffic on their next journey, says Google. Just start the app as you normally would and Navigation will choose whichever route is fastest while also applying its knowledge of current and historical traffic data to get you to your destination.

"Not only can you save time and fuel, you're making traffic better for everyone else by avoiding traffic jams," says Williams in a March 7 post. "Keep in mind that we can't guarantee that Navigation will be able to find a faster way, but it will always try to get you where you're going as fast as possible."

Traffic re-routing with Google Maps for Navigation for Android is currently available for users in North America and Europe and can be downloaded here.