- Google noticed too many users and sensed the slow-moving traffic.
- Google asks for your location to show the traffic around you.
- It uses data from the other smartphones in an area to track how much traffic is there.
We probably cannot think of any other apps other than the Google Maps when it comes to choosing a navigation app. With very few options in-store, Google Maps is probably the most reliable app if you want to take the traffic-free route to your destination.
Although there have been many hilarious gaffes in the past, Google Maps' credibility is still unmatched. It is the major source of business for the app-based cabs like Uber, Ola that function across the globe seamlessly and without Google's support it would not have been possible for them to take their business forward. However, did you know that even a highly credulous app like Google Maps can be fooled? Well, this Berlin-based man pulled a trick on the app and how!
Simon Weckert took to Youtube to share a video in which he can be seen pulling off the trick. He took 99 second-hand phones in a small cart with Google Maps running on all of them and simply walked the streets. As he walked, Google noticed too many users and sensed the slow-moving traffic and showed that the street has too many cars and hence congested. That was it. No technical skills were involved in this whole process but just a bit of common sense.
So how did it happen? How could an app like Google Maps make such a glaring mistake? Well, it is simple, Google gives you as much as it takes from you. To elaborate much on the topic, Google asks for your location to show you the traffic around you. At the same time, it uses data from the other smartphones in that area to track how much traffic is there in a particular street.
In the above-mentioned case, when Google sensed that 99 smartphones are using the maps and moving slowly, it extracted their data and showed that the particular street is heavily congested. It gave out an indication to other users to take another route because of the slow-moving traffic on the particular route. Google counted the number of phones that are using the app and also took note of their pace. Interestingly, the slow pace and the number of smartphones forced Google to believe that there is a huge traffic jam.
99 smartphones are transported in a handcart to generate virtual traffic jam in Google Maps. Through this activity, it is possible to turn a green street red which has an impact in the physical world by navigating cars on another route to avoid being stuck in traffic, the description under the video shared by Weckert read.
However, the whole act cannot be authenticated as Weckert didn't share any further details about it. There is a possibility of him faking it entirely but if it is true, Google should really pull up their socks and implement ways to prevent such exploitations as it could really hamper traffic movements.
Nonetheless, Google Maps still stands out with its services and don't forget to thank it for the number of times it saved you from taking absolutely choked roads and helped you reach your destination on time.