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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Waze provides real-time mapping of traffic congestion, road hazards, accidents, speedtraps and LEO locations via social media.

In other words it's an APP that shows you a map of where cops are, wrecks, etc. AS INPUT by other WAZE users.

I recently used it on a trip from Albuquerque to Phoenix.

Suddenly the thing alerts, starts talking, tells me a road hazard is coming up.

Sure as @#$, there it is, a ginormous truck tire carcass right in the middle of the road.

Traffic is medium, not everyone will be able to avoid it. But I do. And I pull over and pull it out of the road when there's an opening.

Of course, Waze doesn't work out in the boonies where where there's no cellphone coverage. And it's far easier to use driving than it would be on a MC, unless you have a nifty Techmount or other holder that puts the smartphone directly in sight.

Waze is just getting rolling, in terms of # of users. Inside the bigger cities there's tons of reporting.

I saw (usually) 2-3 other Wazers (as indicated by little icons on the map) all along my route from ABQ to PHX. The map scale automatically changes with your speed, you can lock North, several options there.

Unfortunately when it refreshes it loses whatever zoom/pan you've applied.

Unfortunately it's almost impossible to tell, PHYSICALLY, which oncoming car/truck is a WAZER. We either need antenna balls, some headlight flash code, or something to identify each other and say "hi!"

(Although you CAN, if they've enabled it, TEXT a fellow wazer, "Hey, where you headed! How's the snow back there?" or THANK them for a report...."THanks for reporting smokey hiding in the bushes back there!"

The APP is brain dead simple to use. You can figure it out EVEN while you're headed down the highway. It throws up a maps with little icons, you, other WZERS, cops, wrecks, etc. They're self explanatory. It's a moving map that updates every 30 seconds or so.

Button on the right allows you to REPORT hazards, LEOs, accidents, etc. Submenus allow you to report fog, ice, hidden versus visible LEO, cheap gas, etc.

But not wind! I had to do voice-to-text to report HIGH WINDS around the state line. Winds high enough the 18 wheelers had slowed WAAAY down.

If you follow the news Law Enforcement is absolutely HOWLING about WAZE and reporting of LEO locations. OBviousy someone RUNNING from the law would greatly appreciate this sort of info. But for us mostly law-abiding types, the "heads up" about radar traps, giving otherwise safe drivers tickets as a way of generating revenue in many cases.... yeah, tough luck guys.

I predict WAZE will be feeding the infotainment screens in new cars within a year or so, just as XM satellite, Onstar, GPS, etc all now provide inputs.

After removing the tire carcass from the road WAZE provided me no way to cancel the alert provided to other drivers. There are other problems, namely, HOW LONG a report of a hazard, accident, LEO location should stay up....and it needs to depend on how many WAZERS pass through an area and either confirm or DO NOT SEE the reported "hazard."

But all in all I found it a very useful app that allowed me to cruise a tad over the limit (on a day with excellent road conditions) with virtually no fear of becoming a "revenue generator."
 

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Registered
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1,145 Posts
Waze is not new we've been using it for a couple of years now.

Yes it's pretty awesome, and it's voice navigation is pretty sophisticated too. My wife particularly likes Waze because she's a iFan, but she doesn't like Apple's version of navigation. And she hates google.. ;)

Yes I've heard cops in some cities are hating Waze, but not because it's allowing crooks to slip past them.. they claim to hate it because it will give their location away to would-be assassins.. So because they can't lobby to eliminate Waze's cop reporting they've decided to FLOOD waze with tons of "false locations" instead

http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/12/8025209/waze-miami-cops-false-reporting-google-traffic-app

Waze has recently added a new feature.. showing child abductions

http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/4/8146777/waze-amber-alerts-abducted-children

Personally I prefer Google maps for online navigation, but Waze is pretty cool too
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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13,134 Posts
Been using it for a couple of years to avoid traffic backups.

Wade - just like you can report an incident you could also report removing the tire

Eye - my wife has it open and tells me what is going on as we drive
 

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Gone.
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17,857 Posts
Eye - my wife has it open and tells me what is going on as we drive
You're responsible users then. Good.

But for the person driving or riding alone it seems like an added distraction to driving.

We just don't need more technology to make life easier for people that don't care about running over Bikers.
 

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Driftless Rider
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1,485 Posts
One of my reasons for riding is to get AWAY from all this techno-crap that takes away from the real experience.

My "App" for avoiding tickets is to ride responsibly and follow the laws.
 

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699 Posts

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Registered
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2,488 Posts
I have sirrius sat radio on my Electra glide haven't turned in on in two years that is why I ride to get away from all that stuff
 

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lost
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Will it tell me where the drunken idiot in the crew cab 4wd white Ford lives that passed me in a blind curve and then swerved into my lane because there was a car coming the other way? I'd love a word with him. Now that's an app I'd love to have. :mad:
 

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Commute Racer
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2,225 Posts
Not everyone rides just for the "freedom of the open road" or other zen like reasons. Most of my riding is to and from work, so alerts to traffic jams, police, potholes, and the like would be helpful...if I used a Bluetooth device on my helmet, but I don't. I save Waze for when I'm caging it, but it isn't a distraction there. It doesn't require looking at it, unless I don't know where I am going and using it for the GPS. Otherwise, I hit "home" and I have it set to only speak alerts, not turn by turn.
 

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lost
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I'll flash other motorists if I see a speed trap. I view it as common courtesy. If someone is speeding excessively it might get them dialed in for a while so they aren't a hazard to themselves and everyone else - someone doing more than 10 over is more apt to crash than someone going up to 10 over (the safest range too BTW). If they're above 20 over they're really taking chances if they do so in traffic. So getting them to slow down does more than avoid a few points for them.

I tend to speed myself. I keep it reasonable though. I don't go flying through slower traffic but I will make time on open roads with good sight distance and conditions that make it much safer - good surface condition, no houses/schools, and no blind areas like woods or other visual barriers that set you up for a wildlife encounter.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Six month update.

Note: I primarily use WAZE while driving. On a MC one could VIEW the hazard map if you had a smartphone holder on your tank but I don't think you could safely INPUT hazards, speedtraps, etc.

I've found WAZE to be invaluable when needing to "make time" crossing the country.

I've also found it invaluable to avoiding road debris, particularly tire carcasses, ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT.

WAZE still has NOT been adopted by as many drivers as it needs to be for "universal coverage" even of the Interstates. Long sections I sometimes see no other WAZERS' icons, meaning someone may or may NOT have traveled this stretch recently enough to report road debris, speed traps, etc. Or BOTHERED to report them.

Wazers would benefit from "ghost poop" icons to show how recently another WAZER traveled the road ahead, on the ASSUMPTION they would have reported any hazards.



I find it fun to "Honk Honk" at Wazers whose paths I'm crossing (when I'm in my car, not on the bike). A lot of newbie WAZERS must hear their smartphone honking but apparently have no idea they can honk back with a simple button press. (Like me, the first time MY smartphone honked, looking around, WTH???)

Because of the delays in the system it is virtually impossible to identify which car coming towards you is the WAZER whose icon you see on your screen, unless there are no other cars a mile ahead/behind of him/her.

I don't find operating WAZE any more distracting than, say, tuning the radio ONCE YOU LEARN HOW TO USE IT.

A typical interaction might be; I see a car/truck broken down on the side of the road, I press SIX keys:

REPORT
HAZARD
OFF ON THE SHOULDER (vs on the roadway)
VEHICLE STOPPED
OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD (no keypress needed if on my side)
SUBMIT



I really can't tell if it locks the GPS coordinate in when I hit SUBMIT or when I first select hazard. Sometimes because I FOCUS ON DRIVING FIRST I'm a quarter mile down the road before I can hit SUBMIT. Oh well.

On CAN submit an image, say, of a particularly heinous wreck, but...to who's benefit? Just something else to distract other drivers using WAZE?

Another SMALL frustration is everytime WAZE refreshes it loses the zoom you've pinched. A BIG frustration is that WAZE eats batteries like crazy; be sure to TURN OFF Location Services (Iphone) (Settings, Privacy, location services, WAZE) and TURN OFF Cellphone data (for WAZE only) when you get off your bike / out of your car each night and at trip end. You pretty much MUST leave the charging cord in while running WAZE while headed down the road.

WAZE doesn't work where your smartphone can't "see" a cellphone tower. On my latest trans-America trip I saw SEVERAL speedtraps set up immediately outside of cell coverage. (It's frustrating since several were in places where one could safely do 100mph... apparently cause it's all about revenue, not safety!)



The combination of WAZE and a good radar detector.... along with keeping one's eyes open...
 
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