2016-09-28

aesmael: (probably quantum)
Lately the navigation function of Google Maps has taken to showing a little report at the end, information like travel time, distance covered, average speed. I find this very neat and interesting, but dislike how how much it seems oriented toward covering itself and maintaining a positive presentation.

If I arrive earlier than its forecast it will say "arrived X minutes earlier than predicted" or similar. But for days like today, it will just say "1 hr 25 min driving"[1] without that extra "arrived 28 minutes later than predicted" that I feel it could really benefit from.

Worse, if I  took the app up on a faster route suggestion during travelling (as happened one morning driving to work), but still arrive later than the initial forecast, it will say "saved X minutes due to using [this tool]". Now, I don't doubt in that specific case that time was saved over not taking the suggested detour. But it still feels dishonest for a navigation app to be reporting only on the time saved due to following its directions and not giving a more complete report. Even on factors outside its control, although I'd expect it to report if its advice turned out to be incorrect.

Something like "Delayed M minutes by congestion, but cut that down to N minutes later than forecast thanks to our advice" would be much more welcome than this silence, which seems to expect me not to notice happenings like, say, a motor accident causing a half hour delay on travel time. It leaves me feeling like Google thinks it's pulling a fast one on me, or regards itself as a naughty child who won't be punished if it just doesn't mention the broken vase. Maybe I'm uncharacteristic, but what I want out of tools and features like this is information, understanding, and clarity.

[1] Quotes are approximate, from memory.

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aesmael

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