Google Maps Now Has a Speedometer

Posted on June 6, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Android, Google with 41 Comments

Google is updating Google Maps on Android to introduce another useful feature. After the company introduced the ability to see speed cameras, it’s now adding an actual speedometer to the Maps app.

That means when you are driving, you will be able to keep an eye on your own speed, along with the local speed limit. Android Police reports that the feature isn’t enabled by default, and it’s only available in some regions, including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, and the US.

The feature can be enabled through the Navigation settings under Maps’ preferences and doesn’t work with Android Auto just yet. But here’s the thing: Google is using GPS to calculate your speed, so I wouldn’t fully rely on the speedometer while driving. GPS isn’t fully reliable when it comes to calculating a car’s speed, so you are probably better off looking at your car’s actual speed from the dashboard.

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Comments (41)

41 responses to “Google Maps Now Has a Speedometer”

  1. starkover

    Present in Waze for years, not surprised it's moving to Google Maps.

  2. Travis

    Those screenshots are the only thing I can pay attention to. They are so ugly with that hole in the upper right of the screen. Why anyone would design something like that is beyond me.

  3. robinwilson16

    This is really handy since my TomTom expired and is the only feature missing from Google Maps and it's surprising it has taken so long to add it. Great for the London area where the speed limit keeps changing so no needlessly driving at 30 when you don't need to.

  4. CompUser

    Another new feature that's not exactly new. When my now 23-year-old son was in junior high school (13/14 years old), he used to sit in the back seat of the car with Google maps running on his cell phone, and every time I went over the speed limit, he'd yell, "Dad, you're speeding". He was able to do this because Google Maps was showing how fast the car was going. In other words, it had a built in speedometer.

  5. lvthunder

    So if you start getting ads for radar detectors now you know why.

  6. sandy

    The benefit of GPS current speed is - at least while you're travelling on a straight, level stretch of road - it shows your actual speed, whereas many cars' speedometers exaggerate, and sometimes quite significantly:

    For example a 2007 Volkswagen's speedo said 100 km/h when actually going 92 km/h, and at lower speeds it would read at least 4 km/h higher than actual. (This wasn't just VW, but apparently due to a stupid design rule at the time, and similar exaggeration was still present in 2010.)

    So if you're wondering why everyone is passing you, check your actual speed with GPS.

  7. dontbe evil

    LOL didn't know wasn't there, I'm used to HERE where speedometer, (real) offline maps, and camera has been always there

  8. rm

    Welcome to 10 years ago Google Maps!

  9. dustinsherrill

    Hasn't that been there for quite some time? Or am I thinking Waze?

  10. spullum

    One of the best features of (Google-owned) Waze is the speedometer.

    It feels like Waze’s days are numbered. I like GMaps too, especially for city walks, but they’re closing the feature gap.

  11. peterh_oz

    Here Maps has had this for years! And I would disagree re the accuracy thing, its a great way to calibrate your speedo. You'll quickly find that your car's speedo is deliberately under reporting your speed. That's vvery handy to know, esspecially on a long trip where a few extra kph can shave an hour off the trip, potentiially saving an extra rest break and could mean the difference between arriving in daylight or after sunset! (knocking 10% off a 10 houur trip makes a 9 hour trip). Won't make any difference to everyday travel, but on the long country highways it's a godsend.

  12. locust infested orchard inc

    Hey, guess what, my car has a speedometer too. The difference being my car doesn't keep a ledger of my speeds, particularly those that I drive above the speed limit of the road being traversed (in the UK there is a 10% allowance for speeds exceeding the speed limit).

    Google, on the other hand, has yet another metric concerning us to data harvest, probably to the extent of grassing on those who do drive above the speed limit, to the Police.

    Google, the data guzzler.

  13. dallasnorth40

    For those instances when the speedometer on my dashboard is obscured by my phone?

  14. AnOldAmigaUser

    The last time I checked, there was a speedometer in the car, and, as the driver, it is my responsibility to know the speed limit and any mitigating factors such as weather and road conditions. This data will go straight to the insurance firms, who will gladly pay the price for it. Saves them the cost of those stupid devices that they are peddling to offer you a discount. I am sure that there are municipalities and turnpike authorities that would find it a source of income as well. EZPass has already been used to issue tickets, though the speed has to be egregious.

    Google does not add features if they are not getting something useful from them, remember you are the product, not the customer.

    No thanks.

    • karlinhigh

      In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

      Garmin on-dash GPS units have shown speed and speed zone for years. I would miss the feature if it was gone. I would have no trouble believing that Google is just trying for feature-parity here.

      ALSO: How is it that Google couldn't know driving habits BEFORE rolling out this feature?

      • AnOldAmigaUser

        In reply to karlinhigh:

        I am sure that they were collecting the speed data before, since that is how they display the traffic conditions. My issue is the collection of the data in the first place. Since it is linked to an IMEI or a MAC address, it is absolutely personally identifiable. I do not think that any of us are naive enough to believe that they do not keep the data, and tie it to us...that is how they know the route you take to work.

        The issue will come to a head when Google, or another navigation vendor, or the vehicle manufacturer, decides that a cut of traffic fines is more lucrative, or can be an add on revenue generator, to the current uses of the information. That day will come.

      • jwpear

        In reply to karlinhigh:

        Agree on the feature parity. I've used Waze for years and its ability to show the speed limit and my current speed is/was sorely missed when I tried using Google Maps. Its not so much that I need to see the speed, I have a speedometer after all, but rather that the feature then allows me to set a threshold over the speed limit (say 10 MPH) and get an audible alert when I've hit that. That's pretty useful in areas where the speed limit changes frequently.

      • wright_is

        In reply to karlinhigh:

        In car nav systems as well and my car (only a Nissan Qashqai) also reads the road signs and displays the limit on the dash, so temporary limits are also shown up straight away.

        Kias and newer Fords also seem to have this as well - at least the Sportage, e-Soul, e-Nero and the Ford Kuga I test drove all had it.

        • karlinhigh

          In reply to wright_is:

          So there's a dashcam or something that recognizes speed limit signs? It's not built into the map data?

          Can someone fake it out by printing up and placing a convincingly accurate speed zone sign?

          • wright_is

            In reply to karlinhigh:

            There is a camera connected to the computer, it is used for many things, situated next to the rain sensor. I believe it is used as a secondary to the collission detection radar, for instance. It looks for street signs and displays the speed limit and warnings. The navigation also has the speed limits for each stretch - my wife's Nissan Pulsar only has the navigation computer, no camera, so it doesn't show altered limits, just those in the database.

            On the other hand, it is irrelevant what the computer says, whether it is the camera based system, the navigation system or Google Maps, it is the drivers responsibility to be aware of the signs and conditions around him and drive accordingly. If the Google Maps says you can drive 100, because the data hasn't been updated, or it is a variable speed limit section and there is a local restríction of 50, it is still the driver's responsibility to see he doesn't exceed 50, even if Google (or GPS or camera system) says they can drive at 100...

            I would say the camera system is about 85% accurate.

  15. ph-sth

    So many things available elsewhere for years finally coming to Google Maps in the past twelve months.

  16. Boris Zakharin

    I could have sworn this has been there for a long time, but since I rarely use GPS, I might be thinking back to when I was using Waze or even Nokia Drive.

  17. jrzyshr

    There appears to be an error in the "sample" images for this article. It's highly unlikely you would EVER achieve 56mph on that stretch of the BQE at 9:11am as depicted. ;)

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