Google is adding a new feature to Maps for Android that could make its navigation software even smarter. Called Driving mode, the new Maps mode will take into account your location history and your Google and Google Maps searches to suggest info about your route like travel times, traffic conditions, and potential destinations. The feature only works if you've saved destinations for both home and work so the software knows the general direction you're headed every day, according to a Google Maps blog post. The destination suggestions require you to be logged in to Google Maps so it can draw from your search history.
Driving mode appears to be similar to the algorithmic suggestions offered up in Google Now cards, yet tailored for getting around by car and even when you already know how to get to and from your destinations. You'll be able to launch Driving mode with an app icon shortcut or through Maps' in-app sidebar.
Google Maps version 9.19, the one with Driving mode, is in the process of being pushed to the Play Store and may not be widely available for some time. You can install the version manually, but figuring out how to activate the feature is proving difficult. Android Police managed to get it up and running on two devices without figuring out how to replicate the process on a third. While we can hope Google's general release will fix the issue, we might be waiting until a later version to try out the fully featured Driving mode.
Update January 14th 12:45PM: Clarified that users must have home and work presets saved to use Driving mode and outlined the information the feature uses to inform its suggestions based on Google's blog post.