The One Feature Waze Needs Right Now on CarPlay and Android Auto

There is absolutely no doubt that Waze is a fantastic app that really comes in handy to drivers living in crowded cities, especially as the traffic has returned to the crazy pre-2020 levels.
Waze running on CarPlay 7 photos
Photo: autoevolution
Waze on CarPlayWaze on CarPlayWaze on CarPlayWaze on CarPlayWaze on CarPlayWaze on CarPlay
Thanks to its crowdsourcing engine, Waze uses aggregate data, as well as reports sent by the other drivers on the road, to look for areas where you might be slowed down. The purpose is as simple as it could be: based on all the collected information, Waze can look for a faster route to your destination, eventually determining a more accurate ETA as well.

At this point, Waze allows users to send a wide range of reports, starting with traffic jams and speed traps and ending with roadkill and floods.

But as someone who drives mostly on city roads, I can’t help but notice that Waze lacks support for one essential report: the location of speed bumps.

Here’s why this is such an important part of the navigation experience.

First and foremost, you must understand how Waze works. Because of this crowdsourcing engine that helps find faster routes to a destination, Waze can always look for alternative roads where the traffic levels are lower. In other words, you often end up in neighborhoods you’ve never been to, which means that you’re driving on new roads that more or less come with higher unpredictability.

Waze on CarPlay
Photo: autoevolution
Cutting through unfamiliar residential areas raise other challenges for drivers, including not only narrow roads and cars parked on both sides but also speed bumps that sometimes show up out of nowhere.

Furthermore, new speed bumps are being added regularly in residential areas, so getting a warning on Waze would definitely come in handy.

As I see it, the whole thing could work in two different ways in Waze. The Google-owned company can rely either on its large userbase out there and encourage everyone to mark the location of speed bumps on the map or turn to volunteering editors to add such information in the same way they added other warnings.

Without a doubt, flagging the location of every speed bump is quite an effort, and this is impossible to implement overnight, even for a tech giant like Waze.

The last time I asked, I was told Waze was indeed considering bringing speed bumps to the apps it offers on iPhone, Android, Android Auto, and CarPlay. One of my sources recently told me that Waze has already started working on this feature, but an ETA right now isn’t available, pretty much because the dev team has to focus on several major changes, including the support for the Android Auto Coolwalk redesign.

Waze on CarPlay
Photo: autoevolution
But at the end of the day, there’s absolutely no doubt that the speed bump support should be there in Waze not only with a visual warning but also with an audio notification that is triggered when you approach a flagged location.

At this point, you’d better not hold your breath for such an update, though I have no doubt that speed bumps would sooner or later come to Waze as well.

Unfortunately, no other navigation company out there has the resources to make this kind of feature happen, especially given how hard it’d be to always keep the information displayed on the map 100 percent accurate and up-to-date.

If anything, the large community powering Waze is the one that could contribute to such an update, and this is precisely why the company should focus more on improvements that come in handy to the users powering the app in the first place. It’d be a win-win for both Waze and its users, that’s for sure.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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