On Google's Official blog the company has announced that they have acquired Waze the traffic mapping service. Google has not confirmed what they paid but reports suggest $1.3 billion. Waze allows users to see real-time traffic updates from friends and others around you and shows faster routes so it's pretty clear when Google would want such a service integrated into its already feature-rich Maps.
In the blog post Brian McClendon, Vice President, Geo said:
To help you outsmart traffic, today we’re excited to announce we’ve closed the acquisition of Waze. This fast-growing community of traffic-obsessed drivers is working together to find the best routes from home to work, every day.
Waze's product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now.
We’re excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities.