Why Google’s Traffic Navigation App Still Doesn’t Feature Lane Guidance

One of the key features missing in Waze, which other navigation apps, and mostly the default navigation systems installed by car manufacturers, have, is lane guidance.
Waze on the old Android Auto version 1 photo
Photo: Waze
Currently one of the most requested improvements for Waze, lane guidance is supposed to make it easier for drivers to figure out which lane they should use before taking a turn or when existing a highway.

In most of the cases, the visual indicators are the ones that come in handy, and Google Maps, for example, comes with such indicators that are displayed on both mobile and CarPlay/Android Auto.

Waze, on the other hand, lacks lane guidance, and according to a map editor on reddit, this might be due to the distraction that it causes to the driver because it would require them to look at the screen.

When editing, we do our best to match the text on the big green signs for exit naming. The idea is that the voice callout will read exactly what you need to be looking for. Additional visuals are just another distraction to take your eyes off of the road,” they say.

At some level, this makes sense, but someone else adds that the Waze team is already working on lane guidance, and it could be added at a later time in a future update.

Without a doubt, lane guidance would come in handy mostly when using Waze with CarPlay and Android Auto, as the increased screen estate would make it more convenient to read the displayed information. On mobile devices where the display size is obviously smaller, displaying lane guidance wouldn’t be so easier, mostly because showing additional information could actually affect the other navigation instructions on the screen.

It remains to be seen if and when lane guidance makes its way to Waze, but for now, it’s pretty clear that driving distractions remain a big concern for everyone. As a matter of fact, Waze is one of the top navigation apps out there, so such updates that are used by millions need for be carefully developed from one end to another.
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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.
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