• 04.29.13

This App Knows You’re Going To Be Late Before You Do

Instead of merely telling you about traffic, NeverLate looks at traffic patterns to tell you if leaving a little earlier or later might help you avoid congestion.

This App Knows You’re Going To Be Late Before You Do

Driving in cities is unpredictable. The same journey can take 40 minutes, or four hours, depending on the route, and time of day. Leave at the wrong time, and you could miss a vital meeting.


Developed in Sweden, NeverLate helps you to make sense of all the congestion out there, and shows you how long a journey will take. Best of all, it alerts when you get out of bed, take a shower, and get out the door.

“We’ve all been in stuck in traffic and thought ‘Gosh, I should have left 20 minutes earlier,'” says Leif Sundström, CEO of Appello, the app’s developer. “A lot of navigation systems will tell you how to get there, but they won’t tell you before you get in the car.”

The app uses current and historical traffic data from a supplier called Inrix, computing the likely journey time, and factoring in what you’ve told it about your schedule. In the U.S. alone, it covers 1 million miles of roads, including not only major interstates, but piddly streets as well. Inrix generates data from GPS-enabled vehicles, like taxis, mobile devices, and road-side sensors.

Released late last year, NeverLate is available on Android. Sundström says future versions will integrate with personal calendar systems, and learn from your weekly schedule.

“It works best in cities with big traffic problems, like New York, London, or Moscow,” he says. “You can save hours every week.”

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.