Using Apple Maps as a Waze Replacement: Everything You Need to Know About Traffic Reports

Apple Maps incident reporting on CarPlay 6 photos
Sending reports in Apple MapsSending reports in Apple MapsSending reports in WazeSending reports in WazeSending reports in Apple Maps
Launched back in 2006 as FreeMap Israel and eventually purchased by Google in 2013, Waze has completely reinvented the navigation software space.
Using a rather innovative approach, which was based entirely on crowdsourcing, Waze allows drivers on the road to report traffic incidents and let others know precisely what’s happening out there. This way, the application can calculate ETAs more accurately while also making every journey safer overall.

The engine that powers Waze has already caught the attention of other tech companies, and while some have tried to follow in its footsteps (as it’s the case of Coyote), none managed to create a fully featured alternative.

Apple is one of the companies betting big on mapping services in the long term, and while the iPhone maker is seen as one potential competitor for Google Maps, Apple Maps seems to expand on multiple fronts.

Incident reporting is one of Apple’s main focuses right now, as users are allowed to flag accidents, hazards, speed checks, and roadwork on the map just like they do in Waze.

This turns Apple Maps into a Waze rival, especially as it comes pre-installed on new iPhones and is offered as the native navigation service on these smartphones.

Incident reporting in Apple Maps is becoming more and more popular, so here’s everything you need to know about it.

Sending reports in Apple Maps
Photo: Apple
The first thing everybody needs to know is that incident reporting in Apple Maps is still in its early days. This means the app doesn’t support as many categories as Waze, as the focus has until now been on essential reports regarding the location of accidents, hazards, speed checks, and roadwork. The hazard section is quite generic, so many of the Waze reports could be included in this group, such as potholes, roadkill, vehicles stopped on the road, and so on.

Apple might be planning to expand the feature with more types of reports, but the company has so far remained tight-lipped on its strategy in this regard.

In Waze, the accuracy of a report is based on crowdsourcing data, but in the case of Apple Maps, Apple says the company itself is evaluating the incoming information. The firm explains that it’s trying to establish “a high level of confidence” for each report before flagging the location on the map for other drivers. Perhaps, this means that more drivers need to mark the same incident before its location is flagged for nearby users.

Compared to Waze, which displays police or speed check camera icons on the maps, Apple isn’t marking the location of speed traps in Apple Maps. Users are provided with a notification when approaching the location, but this happens only when the turn-by-turn navigation is enabled in the app.

How to send a report in Apple Maps

Given it’s the native navigation solution on the iPhone, Apple Maps benefits from full Siri integration. This means you can use most of its features with the help of the digital assistant.

The voice command support in Apple Maps is as straightforward as it can be, so if you want to report an accident in the app, it’s enough to say something like, “Hey, Siri, report an accident.” Apple Maps must be in focus and running either on the iPhone or CarPlay.

Reporting a hazard in Apple Maps with Siri is possible with commands like, “Hey, Siri, report a hazard” or “Hey, Siri, there’s something on the road.” Reporting a speed trap can be done by just saying, “Hey, Siri, report a speed check” or “There’s a speed check here.”

The digital assistant provides confirmation when the incident is reported, and the location should immediately be marked on the map.

Voice commands aren’t the only method to send reports, however. Just like in Waze, users can turn to touch input for the same thing, though this isn’t the recommended option, given drivers need to take their eyes off the road for incident reporting.

Sending reports in Waze
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
If you can do this safely, then the easiest way to report an incident is when the navigation guidance is enabled. Tap the route card at the bottom of the screen and you should see a new flyout called “Report an incident.” You then have to pick the category of the report.

If you’re just driving with Apple Maps on the screen (and the navigation is not enabled), you must first tap the profile picture next to the search field to find the reporting flyout.

Other things you need to know

Users can also clear reports (except for speed checks) either via Siri (by saying something like “Clear the accident”) or using the on-screen controls by tapping the incident icon on the map and then “Cleared”.

The incident reporting capabilities are only available in certain markets, as they are part of the new-generation Apple Maps experience. Apple is bringing the new feature to more regions as we speak, but no further information on this front exists.

Sending reports in Apple Maps requires iOS 14.5, so it’s available for most iPhones out there (for the best experience, users are told to update to iOS 16, which only supports the iPhone 8 and later).

The same capabilities are live both on the iPhone and on CarPlay, and in the case of the latter, sticking with Siri input is highly recommended, as otherwise, drivers would be required to look at the display in the cabin, typically installed on the console, for too long.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

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.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories