Waze Application Review – Outsmarting Traffic, Together
Everyone hates jam and heavy traffic including myself. I used to travel to from Butterworth to Penang Island for work every single day. As you know, traffic to and out of Penang Island during peak hour will take you around 2 hours to cross just the 10KM bridge. When the traffic rate is high, accidents can easily happen to due frustration and tiredness from the drivers. I have been seeing a lot of accidents happen during traffic jams, where the car behind knocked into the car in front due to the driver being too tired to focus on the road after being stuck in the jam for a very long time. Apart from that, some cars overheated while others had engine breakdowns.
I had been going through this hectic traffic for more than 2 years but I still couldn’t get used to it.
Other than relying on radio Hitz Fm, Mix Fm and also the Penang Bridge Facebook page for the traffic information, there seemed to be no other way until one fine evening.
One of my colleagues introduced me an Andriod Application, WAZE. At this moment, it felt like we had finally found the solution to our problem.. Even though Waze is just an application, which of course cannot help to clear the traffic, it helps us to avoid the traffic.
I do seriously think that Waze is the best app invented for outsmarting the traffic for everyone. Waze with the cute and attractive graphics and user friendly interface is suitable for everyone.
The traffic data is built and obtained from users like us. Whenever a is user connected to Waze, Waze will capture the driving speed, stop and input from the user. Waze will then analyse the traffic condition and display it on the map. So when other users runs Waze, they can see the traffic and if they are moving together with the Waze application open, they are contributing traffic data to Waze too. Isn’t this awesome?
Wave allows input from users as mentioned above. Waze provides a variety of inputs for users to report for the traffic condition or observation which they encounter.
When a user encounters any of the situations shown in above screenshot, the user can make a report through Waze. Waze will update it on the map to alert other users. A user can even chit chat with other Waze users through this app. This makes driving more fun.
Of course, each user has a different personality. Waze offers users a variety of cute characters to choose from. A user can choose one which suits them best.
Waze has a point system with levels. Points are awarded for leaving the app on while driving and for reporting incidents or observations. Now it looks like and kind of works like an RPG game where you gain points and advance levels doesn’t it? This whole concept drives the user to get connected with Waze each time they drive and are more like to make reports of traffic conditions. It is after all normal to want to gain points and become a “King Wazer”.
All I can said that the inventor of this Waze App is brilliant. By making the Waze working like some RPG game, this will ensure users use the Waze when they driving. Bravo to him!
I’m already approaching the King Wazer level!
Other than offering traffic solutions to its user, Waze has NAVIGATION features too!
Waze navigation is programmed to help the user avoid congested roads. It calculates the best route for the user based on data about traffic conditions and travel history from other users. However, there are limitations as Wave sometimes cannot find a place I am looking for. When I tried the navigation, it seems my HTC navigation works much better than Waze navigation in this aspect. When turn to a GPS application to find a place, it is likely that place is not so popular and may not be well known. It won’t be helpful if your application cannot find the place either. Perhaps, Waze will improve its navigation functions in this aspect in the future.
Waze offers users the option to share their navigation and location to other user too. This is very useful especially if you are on your way to pick someone up. This allows the other person to know where you are and the estimated time it would take for you to arrive.
The time estimation is based on real traffic condition to reach the user’s destination. Cool!
Overall, this app is a must android application for all the drivers who wish to have a smooth and jam-free journey. After all, the application is FREE. Note that this application requires data connection to be enabled on your phone. Charges for data in Malaysia depends on your service provider.
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