This is about to change the way you shop for groceries.
Though the American grocery store landscape continues to change, one thing stays the same – no one likes long checkout lines. And thankfully, Google Maps’ latest update might help you avoid that headache altogether.
Google Maps will now use crowdsourced location data to process foot traffic levels and display an average wait time for checkout lanes at grocery stores. It’s a move that might cause concern about a violation of privacy, but Google has already been using this data to generate the “popular times” section in search results for businesses (you can also search for restaurants to see how long you’ll wait for a table).
Google only pulls what they call “anonymized” data from mobile devices with users who’ve agreed to participate in their “Location History” program. Not every grocery store will automatically list a wait time when you search on Google, as there needs to be enough data for the search engine to formulate how long you’ll spend waiting to pay.
The best part? The new grocery store feature will roll out just before the busiest shopping time of the year–Thanksgiving.