One area where Google applied machine learning is flight delay predictions in Search. After launching earlier this year on the web, Google Assistant will now show predicted flight delays and soon provide proactive notification alerts on your phone.
Back in January, Google announced flight delay predictions that leverage machine learning algorithms and historic flight status data to predict delays even before airlines provide passengers with that information. This feature is available when users search for flight status, with Google only displaying the web alert when it has 85% confidence that a “flight will eventually be delayed.”
These Search features are now expanding to Google Assistant when users ask “Hey Google, is my flight on time?” or “Hey Google, what’s the status of the American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Denver?” Predicted flight delays will be communicated in text or verbally, with the flight status card noting the predicted delay in bold red text. When known, Google will also provide a reason for the time change like “delayed incoming flight.”
In the coming weeks, Google will be taking this functionality a step further with proactive Assistant notifications on your phone when it predicts a delay. These will likely surface as alerts in your status bar from Google Assistant, and include a reason if available.
Meanwhile, Google is also expanding its travel tool that shows historic flight price trends, top cities with hotel deals, and popular things to do when searching about a city. The latter will now include “popular experiences.” like sporting events and hiking paths. This “Things to do” feature has also recently been redesigned with new filter options and a map interface.
In Google Flights, the service will do a better job of noting carry-on bag pricing, while noting checked bag fees for domestic U.S. flights. Additionally, ticket price trends will now factor in upcoming holiday and school breaks.