Now owned by Google, Waze is a very useful tool for drivers that could change the way you drive. Professional drivers, especially ride hailing drivers will find the insight offered by Waze to be indispensable. But what is Waze and how does it work?
Put simply, Waze is a GPS app that allows you to navigate around just like any other turn by turn navigation app. If you’ve ever used Tom Tom or Garmin, you’ll know what we’re talking about. But the big difference with Waze is that it is constantly being updated by drivers like you.
So how does that work? Do you need to stop and input details as you drive around? Well, this is where the magic of the Waze app comes into play.
Social navigation app
Waze was originally designed to be a social navigation app. This refers to the fact that the data provided by drivers updates the map with real time stats and information. For example, you can see by looking at Waze if there are road works in a particular area, if there has been an accident or if there is traffic congestion.
The way it works is that drivers do their journeys as normal with Waze app open and Waze keeps track of that data. It then displays average journey times, or shows congestion if there is any.
If you’ve ever used Waze you might also have noticed that it flags up speed traps, parked police vehicles and roadworks. But how?
Drivers can input details manually too, so it’s easy to add the details of a parked police car or other obstruction if you see it. Of course, you’ll need to be parked up to update these details, so please don’t try and input the location of a police car while you’re driving!
Do I need to have Waze open?
Google have integrated some of the Waze features into Google Maps, so you don’t necessarily need Waze open to benefit from the information. For example sometimes in Google Maps you may get a notification about delays on stretches of road, or updates in the event of an accident.
However, the updating of information in real time is done through the actual Waze app, so if you’d like to contribute it’s best if open the app before you start driving. You don’t need to do anything special, just drive around as normal (taking notice of the alerts of course). Of course, you will need to have an active data connection on your device to make use of all of the features of Waze.
Using Waze as GPS
If you’re wondering about using Waze vs Google Maps as your go to navigation service, this might help make up your mind. Among ride sharing drivers, such as Uber, Bolt or Kapten drivers, Waze tends to be the go to GPS. The reason is that it features all those live updates, such as traffic issues or police alerts.
The benefits for normal drivers using Waze as GPS is that they also benefit from all the information being inputted by these drivers. For example, a Bolt or Uber driver with a few minutes to spare is more likely to input the location of a police car or roadworks than any other driver.
If you’re driving in a new city, your work involves driving, or even if you’re going on a long distance journey, download Waze as your GPS app and see how much of a difference it can make.