Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Improving In-car GPS with Waze

My GPS unit is always turned on during my drives because it offers me an insight into the expected time of arrival at my destination. This has been an important feature to me as I am a stickler for punctuality.

However, recently I had realised that I can improve my driving experiences more by tapping on my smartphone. Not by replacing my trustworthy Garmin with a phone GPS but by supplementing the Garmin with the phone.

The discovery of Waze made a difference to how I drive. These days, I made sure that Waze is activated on my phone when I go on longer drives.

I still rely on my Garmin for driving instructions but the Waze app gives me information on traffic conditions, road hazards, contruction zones, accidents, speed cameras and even sightings of traffic police. The information from Waze is community contributed and hence it gets more useful as the user base grows.

Since I started on Waze, my daily drives have been getting more pleasant. I have been able to make diversions much earlier because I received updated information on road conditions ahead. I have been able to change lanes earlier in anticipation of an upcoming hazard that had been reported by someone else. Perhaps most importantly, I have become a happier driver knowing the road conditions upfront and being able to experience smoother drives, saving petrol!

Waze has changed my thinking somewhat about using GPS in the car. The car GPS need not be fanciful with lots of bells and whistles. The car GPS just has to be able to lock on quickly to the satellites and have good map support to support basic routing needs. Augment the rest of the necessary by installing Waze on the smartphones we nowadays carry. For now, Waze is the way to go.

No comments: