Why Google Maps is much more effective as a driving navigational tool compared to others is because the information is updated constantly in real-time. This works by Google checking to see if there are other Google Maps users in the area to determine road congestion, but it seems that this system is flawed.
In a “hack” by artist Simon Weckert, he shows how this system can be easily exploited to create fake traffic jams when in reality there are none. Like we said, Google Maps relies on crowdsourced data for its information, so what he did was he took 99 smartphones, loaded them onto a wagon, and turned on Google Maps navigation.
Due to the high cluster of smartphones all in the same area, Google assumed that this was considered traffic and marked the areas that Weckert was traveling with his wagon as having high traffic. As noted by 9to5Google, this could have an impact on other users as well, where if they were using Google Maps, they might be forced to divert to another road in order to beat the “jam”.
That being said, it is unclear if this was something that could be exploited or if it might have been faked the entire time. Google has yet to comment on it and hopefully they will shed some light on the issue, and if it is an exploit, hopefully they’ll come up with countermeasures soon.