With more and more smartphones using Google Maps to provide driving directions, users may have been frustrated by traffic snarl-ups and delays that Sat Navs would have helped them avoid. Google have added a new feature that solves this navigational nightmare.

Now available on Android phones in North America and most of Europe, Google is providing instant colour coded overlays showing traffic conditions in the area you are looking.

The colour codes are designed to provide an indication of traffic speed compared to normal free-flowing traffic conditions. The colours are pretty logical and follow the rules shown below for major routes:

  • Green: more than 50 miles per hour or 80 kilometers per hour
  • Yellow: 25 – 50 miles per hour or 40 – 80 kilometers per hour
  • Red: less than 25 miles per hour or 40 kilometers per hour
  • Red/Black: very slow, stop-and-go traffic
  • Gray: no data currently available

For smaller roads, the colors give an indication of the severity of the traffic. Green means that traffic conditions are good, yellow means fair, and red or red/black means poor traffic conditions.