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hidden maps feature helps you save on gas
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Kim's column

Best hidden map feature that will save you money on gas

Here’s a question that keeps landing in my inbox: “How can I save on gas?” I get it. Every stop at the pump is painful these days.

Sam’s Club and Costco offer a fuel discount but remember you have to pay that annual membership fee. Tap or click to find out if the savings is worth it.

Or maybe you need a reliable way to find the best gas prices near you. It’s frustrating to fill up, then see gas 10 cents cheaper a mile away. Tap or click here for the best app to scout the lowest price.

Once your tank is topped off, there are ways to make it last a bit longer. Anyone can do this with the help of a GPS app.

Algorithms are good at predictions

If you drive to the same few places most of the time, you likely don’t use your mapping app to tell you how to get there. You may use it to spot traffic and road closures or find a better route.

Traffic isn’t just frustrating; it’s bad for fuel economy, too. Every time you hit the brakes, you use more power to get the car moving again. This burns fuel and reduces your miles per gallon. Driving in traffic also means more idle time and more wear on your brakes and engine components.

It’s easy to open your navigation app and see the current traffic, but what if you want to see the expected traffic conditions tomorrow or next week?

Whether you use Apple Maps or Google Maps, you can get a pretty accurate traffic forecast for a future date based on what the conditions usually are like on that day and time. Then you can fine-tune your departure time to find the ideal time to hit the road.

RELATED: Private maps alternative when you don’t want Google or Apple tracking you

How to plan the most efficient route in Apple Maps

With Apple Maps, you can set a time you want to leave or an arrival time based on road and traffic conditions.

Here’s how to see traffic based on your departure time:

  • Open the Maps app and tap on the Search Maps field.
  • Type your destination and select it from the results.
  • Tap Directions, then tap Leaving Now.
  • Tap Leave at, select a date and time and then tap Done.
  • You can see the traffic, distance, and time for your trip.
  • Tap Go next to your desired route.

You can also set your desired arrival time and see the best time to leave:

  • Open the Maps app and tap on the Search Maps field.
  • Type your destination and select it from the results.
  • Tap Directions and then tap Leaving Now.
  • Tap Arrive by, select a date and time, and then tap Done.
  • You can see the traffic, distance, and time for your trip and Leave by time.
  • Tap Go next to your desired route.

CAR SMARTS: 7 Apple CarPlay tips that make your drive easier

Save time and gas using Google Maps

Google Maps works similarly. You can plan a future trip while the app analyzes predicted traffic, routes, and road conditions along the way.

Here’s how to set a planned time and date for a trip:

  • Open Google Maps and tap on the Search here field.
  • Enter a destination and select it from the results.
  • Tap Directions and then tap the three dots button to the right of the Your location field.
  • Tap Set depart or arrive time.
  • Select Depart at and enter a date and time, then tap Done.
  • You’ll get various route options and details such as time and distance.
  • Select a route and tap Start.

Want to know when you should leave to arrive at a location at a specific time? Here’s how:

  • Open Google Maps and tap on the Search here field.
  • Enter a destination and select it from the results.
  • Tap Directions and then tap the three dots button to the right of the Your location field.
  • Tap Set depart or arrive time.
  • Select Arrive by at and enter a date and time then tap Done.
  • You’ll get various route options, details such as distance, and a recommended time to leave.
  • Select a route and tap Start.

Use Google Maps? There are many valuable features, from finding your car in the parking lot to sending your exact location. 

Tap or click here for 10 Google Maps tricks you’ll use again and again.

PODCAST PICK: Drone deliveries, digital license plates, $3,700 Walkman

Want to get your Amazon Prime packages by air? You can if you live in this city. Plus, Netflix officially announced “Squid Game” season two, Sony made a $3,700 Walkman and Webex is introducing seamless Apple CarPlay support so you can take meetings in the car. Oh, and four states approved digital license plates featuring GPS tracking and Dark Mode. I’ve got all the details.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”

Get more tech know-how on The Kim Komando Show, broadcast on 425+ radio stations and available as a podcast. Sign up for Kim’s five-minute, free morning roundup for the latest security breaches and tech news. Need help? Drop your question for Kim here.

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