I'm not sure if this is a new feature, but it must be pretty recent. Google Maps for Android lets you add home screen shortcuts to directions directly from the app. Just search for directions, tap the menu icon and pick "add route to Home screen". This works best when you select the current location, but it's not a requirement.
You may also see this message: "Go here often? Add this route. Tap here to add a Home screen shortcut to this route."
Another option is to add the directions widget, which lets you pick the shortcut name, whether to start turn-by-turn navigation and more.