Google Maps massively expands its mass transit crowd-reporting service

Google Maps massively expands its mass transit crowd-reporting service

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Today, Google announced a major expansion of its ability to warn users of crowded mass transit ahead of time. The feature originally launched in June 2019 and covered roughly 200 cities globally, using user-reported data similar to Waze to discover and predict overcrowded trains and buses. Google is expanding that 200-city initial rollout to (eventually) over 10,000 transit agencies in 100 countries, according to today’s announcement.

Unsurprisingly, Google Maps’ mass transit predictions don’t just rely on direct user-reported data. They utilize AI models trained on that data.

“We apply world-class anonymization technology and differential privacy techniques to Location History Data to make sure your data remains private and secure,” the announcement declares—although we must point out that attempts to anonymize location data frequently fail.

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