Thursday, February 15, 2018

Kakao Map new "ETA by Time" feature predicts best driving departure time

Just in time for long Lunar New Year drives back to hometowns, Kakao Map has a neat new app feature called "Future Drive Info" (미래 운행 정보). When you input your destination, it can automatically predict when the best time to leave would be, based on combing big data from traffic levels and Kakao Navi usage. 

Kakao Map "Future Drive Info." Image: Yonhap

So for example, it will assume you want to leave right now, but it will also calculate the total driving time if you were to wait 30, 60, 90, 120 minutes before departing. In some situations, such as with rush hours or holidays, you could potentially shave an hour off your drive by waiting a while. Sounds good to me. You can also specify a different time/date for departure and it will recalculate. 

It works when the app is set to English too, though it calls this feature "ETA by Time." To test it, get some driving directions, and tap the map screen's top-left icon. You'll get this kind of screen back.

Kakao Map "ETA by Time" screenshot

My sample didn't show much different in drive times. Looks like it's best to just leave right now. The UI could use some tweaking because it really draws emphasis on leaving in 1.5 hours, which if you're not paying attention is clearly a few minutes longer than leaving right now. As an aside, does it really only take 2.5 hours from south of Seoul to Gangneung? And on the day before 설날? Wow. 

I haven't used Google Maps for driving directions in so long, I wonder if it has this feature too. Anyway nice to see Kakao keep pushing forward with features that work in other languages. 

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