Traffic and Lagos are synonymous, and honestly, should be one compound word. Government and private individuals can only keep on trying to solve the problem with several means ranging from manual traffic controllers to AI technology. Google Maps through its GPS technology has offered some help in the last couple of years, but it only scratches the surface – Lagos traffic has a skin many layers thick.
At the last Google for Nigeria event in July (3rd edition), Google promised some new products including the Nigerian English Voice for Maps which is already launched. Improving Maps to help people get around much easier was one of them. The new upgrade to Google Maps on Android enables users view estimated fares (for danfo and BRT), quick shortcuts and routes, information on current traffic, and weather conditions. There is also 360-degree pictures of landmarks, bus stops and popular places along the route.
This feature is accessed by tapping the ‘Traffic’ tab located at the bottom of the page. The feature is the result of a partnership with Nigerian AI company, Road Preppers Technologies whom Google identifies as a key technology partner for this product.
At the moment the feature is only available on Android and in Lagos. With time Google hopes to make it available on other platforms, leverage on data from its performance in Lagos to improve the product and extend to other cities in Nigeria and Africa.