The app has always directed users to the fastest route. But until today, what constitutes "fastest" has been based on the distance and on expected traffic - but not on the actual road conditions.
The app uses both historical and real-time traffic data to select and recommend the alternate routes.
Users won't need to do anything special in order to trigger the new directions, which will be active in North America and Europe where both Navigation and real-time traffic data are available.
Google says that more than 35 million miles are driven by Navigation users daily, and touts the new feature as a massive "time saved."
But Google does caution that these alternative routes might not turn out to be any faster. "Keep in mind," Google says, "that we can't guarantee that Navigation will be able to find a faster way." But if you're like me, the act of driving around traffic always feels faster than just sitting in it.