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Google Maps provides a feature to estimate your arrival time based on typical traffic along your route. It provides this time as a range, e.g., "typically 1h - 1h 50m" Based on that, if you select to arrive at a specific time (vs. leave now or depart at), it will tell you what time to leave given the high end of the range.

My question is: if you follow the advice and leave yourself the high end of the estimated travel time range (1h 50m in my example above), how likely are you to arrive at your destination on time?

This is a rewording of this closed question: How is the range of Google Maps new drive time feature defined?

  • I fear it is not the same all over the world. It also will depend a lot on things like weather and local reactions to it. – Willeke Aug 8 '17 at 16:50
  • How is this question different than the original (you yourself said it's only a rewording)? If it isn't and it's the same as the one closed as off-topic, I think this one should be closed too. – Kuba Aug 8 '17 at 16:54
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    Difference in question: the original question was asking about their approach for determining the interval; I'm asking about how I should use the information as a driver. – wrschneider Aug 8 '17 at 18:07
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    I am asking in context of US. What my question gets down to is, how much variability is already accounted for in the range Google provides, and how much additional margin of safety do you need to add to that range? – wrschneider Aug 8 '17 at 18:09
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    I'm voting to close this question as off topic and a better fit at Google Maps & Earth Help Forum – Giorgio Aug 8 '17 at 19:17
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Google is surprising close to the estimate. I'm baffled each time I use it!

That being said, google has a pretty hard time estimating red zones. I've had google tell me a traffic spot will take 20 minutes, when it actually took me two hours! This is not normal of course (this was a highway in Brazil), but I still always just look at googles estimate as a whole (E.G. 1hr 50mn), look at the route it wants to take me through, and make my own judgments. I'd probably end up leaving 20 minutes before a google estimate of two hours.

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Depending on where you are, Google is surprisingly accurate, or surprisingly inaccurate.

I find Google more accurate in countries that are more 'developed'. Very decent estimates in, say, Germany. Not so much in, say, Kenya.

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