Apple has been granted a patent (number 20180052002) for “live traffic routing” designed to improve its Maps app on iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.
Live traffic routing in a mobile navigation system generates alternate routes based on the user’s current location, live traffic conditions and estimated time of arrival at certain locations along the route. It re-ranks alternate routes taking into account which routes offer the best cost path to your destination.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that searching for the best routes at certain times of day can present problems in navigation systems because of the need to adjust the results based on the user’s location and current traffic conditions. However calculating updated routes based on current traffic conditions can be computationally expensive.
In addition an alternate route to accommodate traffic conditions alone may not always be the best choice. Apple thinks it has a solution for dealing with such problems.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.