Google acquired Waze, a GPS navigation software app, way back in 2013. Google and Waze work mostly independently from one another, but Google has recently incorporated a few features that were inspired by Waze. Google Map users will now be able to report speed traps and crashes on iOS devices.
According to Google, these new tools, “...reflect real-time contributions from the community so you can stay even more informed when you’re behind the wheel.” iOS users can now report report crashes, speed traps and other traffic slowdowns directly from their iPhone. This feature has been available on Android for over a year, but is a welcome addition for iOS users.
Android and iOS Google Maps users can now also report construction, lane closures, disabled vehicles, and objects on the road like debris. Google Maps hopes that this information will help users to plan their route and avoiding getting entangled in traffic. Uses will simply need to tap on the “+” icon and then “add a report”. Both of these new features will be available within the next week to all markets.
This past spring, Google Maps added a speedometer and other related information: it provides users with the current speed limit and will also alert you if you are approaching a speed camera.
Google Maps also recently improved alerts and information about natural disasters. Maps now provides visualizations of visualizations about hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. This feature can even provide information a few days prior to an anticipated disaster. Google remarked, “This card will direct you to a hurricane forecast cone, which shows the prediction of the storm’s trajectory along with information about what time it’s likely to hit certain areas, so you can use this information to plan how to react.” Those are experiencing an earthquake can tap on the crisis card and view a “shakemap”. It is a feature that you will hopefully never need to use, but it is nice to have just in case.
It will be interesting to see how long Waze will truly be able to maintain its relative independence and attract users. Just this summer, Google added Google Assistant to Waze. As Google Maps adds more features, users may find themselves switching entirely over to Google Maps.