Also, whoever thought it was a great idea to permanently stick a button in the user interface that brings up an ad for Waze Carpool needs to be soundly whipped. I mean, I don't have any studies to back this up, but I'm pretty sure that when someone is in their car already, using Waze, they don't need to schedule a carpool pickup. Because they're in their car. Driving.
Oh my is that obnoxious. I'm a daily Waze user, personally, and I find this to be the stupidest dialog the app produces. It pops up every few times you end up stopped at a light -- the moment I want to look at the app to check the route it's sent me on -- and there's a dialog covering up half the screen with no obvious "go away" button (is there one? Can I swipe it away? Who knows? I'm driving and don't have time to figure that out!). And I'm like you ... who on earth is clicking these ads on purpose. I could see if I put in a 6-hour route for a road trip -- maybe I hadn't thought of where I'd eat lunch -- but on my drive home from work, am I really using a navigation app and not caring about getting home?
I find the more fool-proof way to avoid being pulled over for speeding is to not speed in the first place, at which point both Google Maps and Apple Maps both report any other type of traffic slowdown just as good as Waze without the annoying advertisements.
For you, whose speeding fines are $0, ninety percent of zero seems like a small number. But for someone who spends >$0 on speeding it is worth some money.
Spoiler it is ‘not speeding’.
I recently bought a car with cruise control (the keep-this-speed kind). It was one of the only ‘extra’ options I was interested in at all and it has been great. I know most cars have this nowadays, but I came from a car without it. I was constantly watching my speed, even though I practically never go over the speed limit I semi-subconsciously checked my speed all the time, always busy with adjusting speed, especially in the city. Now with my cruise control I just set it and forget it. It is so relaxing. On the highway it is even better. Now I can just enjoy the drive without worrying about getting speed tickets and I can focus on the road better in order to prevent me from killing anyone. I am not sure the people playing with waze’s Ads in order to be able to speed can say the same.
Again, I do hear these conversations quite often but it never gets easier to hear someone talking so casually in a public forum about how little they care about being caught repeatedly breaking the law and endangering the lives of everyone else around them. I'm glad Waze has built a tool to enable that behavior.
Combine that with enforcement that is for the most part capricious and arbitrary, and I think it’s straightforward to understand how we’ve gotten to this point.
It's not "criminalizing the conduct of 15 percent of motorists", those 15% of motorist choose to break the law and endanger everyone else. They're not genetically predisposed to one certain speed, they choose to go faster. And with any choice, it comes with a consequence.
But go ahead, say whatever makes you feel better about yourself. Hopefully the cop understands that your free flowing otherwise law-abiding speed is just poorly optimized. Hopefully the pedestrians you hit understand that their safety is just capricious and arbitrary. Hopefully the family of the victims understand you're just being unfairly criminalized.
Or you can just drive the speed that the entire rest of society has all agreed to drive. That's how civilization works.
No, it doesn't, for several reasons, most notably:
(1) percentiles don't work that way; particularly, if everyone who would drive at or faster than the limit in its absence drove exactly at the limit in its presence, it would have no effect on the 85th percentile speed, so setting and maintaining an 85th percentile limit doesn't require any violations of the limit to occur,
(2) simple speed limit violations often are not criminal in and of themselves, so even if 15% were driving over the limit, they wouldn't be criminals.
The highway speed limit may be 70mph, say, but from an emissions point of view, for most cars the ideal speed is more like 60mph.
From a safety point of view, the ideal speed will depend largely on traffic conditions. 85mph might be fine in light traffic on a straight road in clear weather in daylight, less so in other conditions. That seems like a good argument for lowballing the speed limit (assuming that you're correct about that).
I’m was just explaining to my OP the expected utility of Waze. Yes, I’m cavalier about talking about that. I don’t understand why I need to be alarmist about it for you to feel safe in this conversation.
Yes, it's fool-proof to simply "not speed" and I have Waze set up to give me speed warnings so that I avoid speeding by accident. The fact of the matter is, traffic laws are the kinds of laws that are easy to break by accident. Getting a little extra warning to pay attention, both in having a speed warning and an enforcement warning, is helpful in avoiding a costly mistake. And there are times when speeding is the safer choice. In Michigan, interstates are almost all 70 MPH (with, I'm told, some going to 80 MPH). Around cities, where acceleration/deceleration ramps are too short and for a variety of other reasons related to the design of the freeways, the speed limits are set at 55 MPH. Everyone continues to travel at 70 MPH. Aside from the concept that keeping at the same speed of traffic reduces the speed at which you are hit in an accident (70 MPH, 75 MPH collision is 5 MPH at initial impact plus whatever happens after that), the bigger problem is the aggressive drivers, many of which are simply going the expected 70 MPH (some, probably without realizing the speed limit dropped) who will jump out of your lane, cutting off the driver in the adjacent lane, then jump back in front of you, similarly failing to leave a safe distance. This lane-jumping causes at least three different opportunities for a wreck should every driver involved not be paying appropriate attention.
About a decade ago, I watched exactly how this can turn into an incredibly dangerous situation. The slow car was in the right-most lane, traveling at 55 MPH on I-94. The road had moderate traffic and the van approached the smaller car at around ... probably ... 75-80 MPH. He had a sedan behind him pretty close traveling at the same speed. The van didn't want to slow down but there was a car in the middle lane, so he accelerated and managed to get in front of a car in the middle lane by getting maybe a foot off of the bumper of the slow car and rapidly changing lanes. The car behind the van wasn't so lucky. I'm guessing he was fiddling with the radio or phone, because he didn't react fast enough (though I'm not sure if he had reacted fast enough that the accident would have been avoided). He slammed on his brakes while simultaneously attempting to dodge the smaller car by moving to the left, hitting the car that was nearly blocking the van and the small car in front of him. By the time it was over, there was a rollover (the car behind the sedan who had chosen to swerve right -- onto the shoulder -- and swerved too hard), the middle lane car was totaled and several cars were rear-ended. Luckily, nobody died (as far as I know) but a few were taken off in ambulances. The slow car had the sedan nearly in its back-seat (I'm guessing he did the instinctual thing and slammed on the brakes when he got hit, making the damage worse). I was in the left-most lane and narrowly avoided both hitting the guy in front of me and being hit from behind. We all had a helluva morning giving statements to the police.
The best advice my dad gave me when I was 15 years old and learning to drive was "accidents are caused when you do something that other drivers aren't expecting." On the freeway, other drivers are expecting that every car is traveling very near the speed of everyone else. When you're the car who is not, you're "the unexpected". The good news is, according to anecdotal accounts I have from family members who are cops, the police understand this, too, and will generally not just pick a car out of the mass of vehicles going too fast. They're specifically looking for the guy who's jumping lanes or going at a much higher rate of speed than the rest of traffic.
Incidentally, the one thing you can count on when there is a cop monitoring one of those 55 MPH areas is that right near that cop, there's going to be a lot of sudden braking. Getting an audible warning of that a half-mile before it happens -- avoiding a possible fender-bender -- is really helpful.
 And it wasn't just Ohio, I-75, I-275 in Michigan as well as I-94 leading all the way up to Canada were similarly crazy.
Though I know all the roads around here (Bay Area) I still need google maps to find out which one is least congested.
That's not to say that whatever Waze is doing is a good idea, but that may well be the underlying mechanism for why they're trying.
I've been looking for a way to articulate this problem in A/B testing, thanks.
That's what I call a "better horse paradox".
Can I ask why? Having driven in both the US and europe and used GMaps in both places, I've found the lane guidance to be borderline useless. For the most part, lanes are intuitive (turning right - right lane), and when they're not, Google often gets them wrong.
And unless you've been here before and made the mistake (and got beeped at in the process) you probably won't know nor see the arrows as you're following the car in front of you.
I find it very useful (when it works)
Happened to me more than a few times, and the only way you can avoid it is if you know all the local roads, or if your navigation software knows it...
In my area, they finally started putting these in where we used to have four-way stops and the traffic flow is much better. However, people in the states are utterly baffled by them since we don't encounter them regularly. So there's usually a sign almost a half-mile back explaining what lane you need to be in depending on where you're trying to get ... and then another two signs, along with painting on the street, to tell you again as you approach.
However for pant wetting excitement in your car, I also recommend la Place du Concorde in Paris when its busy (its always busy). Its not a roundabout as such, more a loose agreement.
Are these common?
This is so confusing I had to view it from top down perspective and I still have no clue how you would navigate through this.
It looks like a vehicle approaching the Magic Roundabout via A4312 can use the outer ring to exit via B4289 or Fleming Way but any other exit the vehicle must spin in circles to enter the inner ring. I give up.
The centre (which doesn't really show up on Goog maps) goes anti-clockwise, bear in mind that we drive on the left and go clockwise around a roundabout usually. You can use the outside to avoid the centre completely, which is often faster. The main problem is that it is very heavily used and hence some of the markings are scrubbed out. Also it is easy to get disorientated but even if you fly out of the wrong exit, it is easy to use a side street later to get back on track.
I have to say that I would not recommend visiting Swindon to someone who usually drives on the right hand side. To be fair I don't really recommend Swindon to anyone 8) For me, the MR is the exciting end to a two hour drive to visit a customer - just what you need to wake you up at ~0930.
That about rounds it up, I would say!
I am aware that European roads as a whole are rather straightforwards compared to some parts (OK most) of the world. For starters we have rules and most of the time they are nearly obeyed. However the rules are often not quite the safe as the official ones.
For example, I discovered that around Napoli, you use your entire car as an indicator. Once you wedge it into a tiny gap then people will generally give way but you have to be very quick and accurate. It may be coincidental that when me and wifey started observing properly, that we estimated that around 90-95% of cars in that area had visible damage and were generally of fairly low value (in general).
When I gave a lift to an interview candidate at my company, who happened to be Polish, he remarked upon our habit of letting waiting cars out of side streets onto the main road. "That would not happen in Poland" he said, but I'm sure it does sometimes.
Speaking very, very generally, and given my experience does not extend to Scandinavia and quite a few other local-ish lands but does include US and Canada, I would tentatively suggest that the UK is generally a safe place to drive and is, generally, a forgiving driving environment. Our road signs are possibly the best anywhere but we do have too many signs in some places.
Driving in China would scare the shit out of me and I'm pretty confident behind the wheel.
Lane guidance is very helpful in these situations.
I drive it several times a year and I still need lane guidance to help.
It's also often useful to know how many lanes can be used for a turn, etc, so you can switch lanes early.
(My even-more-anecdotal experience is that Apple Maps tends to have better turn lane guidance than Google, which isn't something I'd remotely have guessed.)
Since I do not drive or use Waze for navigation I cannot see how this works for myself, but could it be that they put this there so that you as a driver have an opportunity to start offering to give people rides rather than taking one? As a person without a license, I would very much like to see more drivers in my area. I hope that Waze can find a way to encourage more drivers to opt in (and to do so without being obnoxious or intrusive) so that I could use the service more. So far I have been able to take only one trip in over a month of using the app because there are no matches found. I'm commuting in LA and it's hard to imagine that there are not more people whose commute is similar to mine.
Here in Germany the laws regarding texting and driving only regard a car as not driving if it is standing still and the engine is turned off.
In the UK it is only permissible if the engine is off AND the car is parked in a recognised or safe parking area. Engine off waiting at junction is not sufficient.
It is not clear to me whether these ads are being presented in Germany, the UK or anywhere else where responding would be a violation.
There's also a familiarity level of safety taking known routes. Sure, cutting down some residential side streets might save 60 seconds, but no kid is going to run out into the road chasing a soccer ball on 101.
Another feature wish for Waze: voice-activated incident reporting. It's hard to tag accidents/hazards/speed traps while driving by hand, not to mention dangerous and illegal.
Yeah, I'm often struck by the irony of the "typing disabled unless you confirm you're a passenger" prompt, in light of the (prompt-less) 5(?) tap workflow to report a road hazard, while driving.
And it truly sucks at telling you which way to turn coming out of a parking lot.
OTOH it gets my eta ~right.
And the ~recent "enable use of bluetooth to keep your position updated in gps-blocking tunnels" was clever and useful.
But for me those are all relatively minor considerations. Waze is my constant companion behind the wheel, for one reason: there is (to my knowledge) simply no competition for its "crowd-sourced radar detector+" hazard and speed-trap reporting.
As a Dutch citizen it took me a while to realize that we are in a luxury position where we do have such an application. Its called Flitsmeister and in the circles around me it is used by over half of the people that are driving frequently. It also works in several other (European?) countries as long as it is legal. (For example, in Germany only non-portable speed traps are allowed, and in Switzerland the use of something like Flitsmeister altogether is disallowed.)
I don’t use it myself and get downright scared when a driver starts flicking the app to report a pot hole. The privacy aspect might be worth it vs dying in a car crash.
But how electric car makes sitting in traffic better?
An EV is very zen and doesn't pressure you to move. In fact your eMPG or range estimator rewards you for crawling forward. Oh yeah and the HOV lanes.
If any Apple employees are reading this: I’m definitely not the only one who hates Apple maps, and forcing me to use it makes me hate it even more. Stop that, PLEASE. Car nav systems are awful enough as it is. Carplay isn’t great, but it’s better than any other car system I’ve used. The text messaging stuff is particularly annoying, as are “storage almost full” notifications WHILE I AM DRIVING. You can’t display a text message, but will terribly offer to read it to me then activate voice control, and yet storage space getting low is important enough to pop an alert that I have to interact with to make it stop? Please reconsider these priorities. Also, make Spotify fix their garbage carplay app.
PS: What are your gripes with the spotify app? For me it sometimes takes a while to open properly, but once running it's not bad, I can easily access some curated playlists as well as my saved songs and listening history. The "playing" interface is pretty rubbish, but I think that's a carplay mandate.
I believe you were the only one to mention this factor. It's kind of scary how few people prioritize lowering the chances of killing a kid.
The mathematically better path is sometimes not THAT much more efficient or simply not more efficient for us humans even if it is just a driving preference. I really hate too many cuts through neighborhoods.
I live in the Chicago suburbs, and not all counties or towns/cities/villages care for their roads the same. The city I live in is pretty diligent about taking care of their roads, but adjacent cities aren't so much. Last winter, I spent nearly $1200 fixing alignment issues & replacing 2 tires that wore prematurely due to bad alignment. The bad alignment was due to a bent control rod from hitting potholes/frost heaves in the road. I can avoid most of that by staying on the highway for as long as possible and arriving maybe 5 minutes late some days.
A couple of weeks ago, we got hit with a pretty heavy snow storm, but not quite a blizzard. Google was telling me to go local the hole way to save 15 minutes over the highway. Except none of those local streets had seen a plow yet. Safer to stay on the highway as IDOT has the plows out continuously on days like that. Took me 2.5 hours to get home that night, but I least I got home safely and without damage to my car.
Google wasn't wrong that those roads were clear... because nobody wants to take those roads because they're not plowed and dangerous in bad weather.
* Driving from Fremont to Berkeley and it took me over half of the bay bridge to Treasure Island, where it had me loop around and get back on and over to 80.
* From Union City to Hayward, where it had me take a street that had not finished being built.
* In what should have been a 30 minute trip but took three times that, Waze managed to find the only one lane dirt road in the entire Bay Area and send me along it.
I’m guessing that the “difficult intetsections” in LA are e.g. two-way multi-lane streets with no left turn arrow (yield on green). How LA thinks that these actually work in 2018 is beyond my comprehension (for those who have never had the pleasure of driving in LA traffic, it basically translates to waiting half a dozen light cycles while both directions grid lock until someone stops to let you turn in front of them).
I really dislike some of the externalities created by waze.
I already fixed several intersections this way.
That's assuming the problem is indeed with Waze and is not just asshole drivers. When I am in scenario when Waze made me make an illegal turn I report the map issue, turn the way sign suggests and wait for Waze to come up with a new route, so I'm surprised that no one did this yet in your area.
What's the intersection?
And I do not Silicon Valley to direct traffic in my city.
I was using Waze when leaving Madras, Oregon, after the eclipse heading to the Puget Sound area of Washington. It suggested a route that would bypass a couple miles of slow traffic, but the road it sent me down was a dirt road with a periodic undulation in it that caused massive vibration, and my car and the two or three others that were on it were throwing up so much dust it was very hard to see. I turned around and went back to the main route and put up with the slow traffic.
A friend of mine was also leaving Madras, but heading to California. He was using Google. It also was giving some poor route advice. Here's what he told me when we compared notes of our trips home:
> Google kept sending us onto logging roads: we bailed on the first when we were told to turn onto a non-existent road; we bailed on the second when a van came out and told us that ~5 cars were stuck axle-deep in mud; we bailed on the third when we got to a sign informing us that we were about to enter an off-road-vehicle trail.
I'd also like to see a review of how the various cell phone companies handled it. Both me and my friend are on T-Mobile, and something like 90% of the text messages we tried to exchange were either lost or delivered hours late. I think we managed one or two short voice calls. Most voice calls either did not connect, or on occasion would connect but only one of us could hear the other.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile in southern Illinois leaves a lot to be desired, and so dynamic routing was iffy at best unless I was near an interstate. I decided to head off on county blacktops and secondary state routes, sans data coverage, and made good time in spite of storms. I got on I-57 near Effingham, and traffic went smoothly until I approached Champaign-Urbana, where my ETA steadily racked upward as I got closer. A quick peek showed lots of trouble ahead around Rantoul.
So, I stopped for dinner in Champaign, then Google Maps sent me out on back roads until I got around the bad construction backup near Rantoul, after I "primed the pump" by heading north out of town on Mattis Avenue. From then on it was trouble-free.
On the other hand, one of my best experiences with Google Maps occurred one Thanksgiving Eve, on my way to Midland, Michigan. Near Kalamazoo, it informed me of a faster route, and when I took it, it quickly put me on surface streets. I was thinking "WTF?" until I passed another I-94 on-ramp, where the tag said "58 minutes slower." Apparently, there was a wreck near Battle Creek. The new route put me on the designated I-94 emergency bypass once I left Kalamazoo, and past the wreck it returned me to the interstate.
Oh yeah and we did get ahead of miles of stuck traffic.
Then, it was empty roads on US 26 as we went back at 90mph to 110mph till we hit Gresham and stopped off. Never seen my car driven that fast, but it sure did beat sitting in traffic!
So then you can add similar parameters for other major highway types (or one that groups them).
Like I say, committed. I guess BRouter could do similar.
In addition to that, Google Maps has recently added a "regular routes" feature in the personal content settings. Their description: "When providing directions, suggest routes you regularly take based on your Location History.". I have noticed that after overriding the route Maps gives you and doing something else, if it's close enough in theoretical time, Maps will pick your 'preferred' route by default after a while. The original Maps route will still be shown while driving (as one of the grey alternative routes).
(We have an incredibly dense road network though, so main roads are usually significantly faster anyway.)
1) As tends to happen with our favorite apps, they started fucking with the UI. I don't remember exactly what it was at this point, but every release after Google's acquisition included some changes that made it less convenient and more aggravating.
2) I gave up having tower service and went wifi-only. Google Maps is very good at storing the map offline and recalculating without an Internet connection. Waze needs an internet connection every time a fly passes between you and the GPS satellite.
I still miss the police warnings, but I also changed my driving habits to where I don't need them anymore.
Hey, that's an idea: obey the law.
[ETA: funny that this is being downvotes.]
Police and red light camera warnings in Waze always struck me as both encouragement and enablement of deliberate law breaking.
Do you have some hard evidence that shows that most traffic accidents are caused by people not complying with speed limits vs. people being inattentive, people under the influence of drugs or alcohol, people making invalid turns, people slamming on their brakes but the driver behind them is unable to react in time, etc.?
The notion of "speed kills" is not always correct. If everyone on the highway is driving above the speed limit, then driving at the speed limit and slower than the flow of traffic would actually become a cause of traffic and increase the risk of a collision.
I am always wondering how good these apps are in such circumstances, when on a specific day everyone goes to the same place. They do not synchronize, which would help people to drive different roads from the start.
Last Saturday I drove from Paris to the Alps, together with everybody else. GM was suggesting the straight road (A6) and I decided to take a completely different one (A5 via Annecy), supposedly 1h30 longer (over an official 7h30 trip). I arrived me of les at the same time as the others, with less stress (not one traffic jam).
I would love to have an app which talks with the others to suggest an alternate road "because the others are PLANNING to take the obvious one"
That prediction will lead to users being spread across different routes.
I use mostly GM and the suggested road shows traffic being slow or fast "as we speak". The image, from the same place, will be vastly different at another time. And I see that in these times the road is different, avoiding the hot spots as of now.
In other words:
- at 5 in the morning it will route me through a busy town 500 km down the road because there is no traffic now.
- at 17:00, from the same starting point, it will avoid the same city, because of high traffic. This high traffic is irrelevant to me as I will hit the town in 7 hours, when there will be nobody on the roads.
The coloring shown, and delay markers, are as the traffic is now.
The actual route planning is done with data as the traffic is predicted to be.
What I like about Apple Maps: The actual on-screen navigation experience. I find it’s the clearest about which lane I need to be in.
Waze is terrible about weirdly-shaped intersections and ramps, both in the maps themselves and the instructions about where I need to be to turn/exit.
If you think all the alleys and left turns are annoying, that’s nothing. On I-270, outside DC, it often has me bouncing back and forth between the local and express lanes, for no reason. Probably because some other user nearby in each lane is going a slightly different speed.
How in any was is that legal or ethical to have that data available.
The point is to slow down, not to get you a ticket..
They don't, so it's not.
This is also why it's not illegal to buy a car that can go 120 mph, even though there is not a single road in the U.S. with a speed limit that high.
That, and I can take my 120+ mph car to the track. (Also, I can think of a couple times having a car able to go 120 mph has helped me get out of the way of some accidents a slower car would've got caught up in.)
Keep in mind I'm not talking about powerful acceleration; top speed can be electronically governed. You could have a car that goes 0-60 in under 4 seconds, but is governed to 75 mph top speed by law.
But I agree that it's an unethical feature. The people who have the most interest in it are the same people who routinely exceed the speed limit -- otherwise, what's the point!
Eh. If it were up to me, regular streetworthy cars would be both sensibly limited in power (say, 60 HP) and speed (say, 80 kph).
tldr; speed traps save lives and reduce injury.
Setting aside the fact that you can find a pubmed link to "prove" the efficacy of almost any intervention, the original assertion -- that the roads are more dangerous when drivers are informed of the presence of cameras, police, or both -- is not addressed by this survey.
As speeds have gone up, the death rate has gone down more or less steadily, at least until the last couple of years when drivers collectively decided that their cellphones are more interesting than their driving. A study that purports to exonerate speed traps must first address this rather inconvenient truth.
It annoys me to no end that it is incapable of coping with local street addresses and keeps suggesting Brazilian ones (and I have my phone set to US English, including Siri).
Also, no public transit info in most places I visited.
But, since iOS 11, I'm using Apple maps exclusively for navigation. Its UX is great, and the ETA is almost always accurate (unless there's some accident/road block not known to app).
I use Waze whenever I'm on the highways, especially on those that I dont drive often.
Google Maps is my go to option for places of interest, which is years ahead of Waze and Apple Maps. But some malls I visit have indoor maps on Apple Maps, and these are certainly better than google maps.
edit: My app usage is mostly in the NE US, especially in NJ-NYC area.
Sometimes I have to use Google Maps when iOS maps can't find what I'm looking for which is the only real let down.
I've filed numerous tickets on one intersection that's been closed for 2.5 years in Downtown San Francisco of all places. Yet Apple Maps still routes uber drivers through there forcing them to do a 10 minute roundabout. When they pick me up I again have to direct them not to follow Apple Maps. I don't know why they persistently decide to not fix it, but that headache has made me assume Apple Maps doesn't really give a crap about customer satisfaction therefore their other features will probably suck too.
Consider contributing to - and suggesting to others - OpenStreetMap :)
On the other hand, I in the starting days of apple maps noticed them having a baker in my neighbourhood twice. They got back via email I think a week or two after me reporting it, and a couple days later it was fixed, so maybe you're just not lucky here..
I’ve made literally dozens of changes around Australia. Changes to POIs, street names, off ramps etc. Every single one has been actioned although usually takes a few weeks.
The problem with Apple Maps is they source the data from third parties so it’s up to them whether changes are accepted or not.
Another feature I prefer with Waze is integrated speed limit display. I never had to endure any ads though in Waze, that’d be a reason to quit and switch.
Apple Maps generally always gives fairly conservative but accurate estimations of walking times, while Google Maps is all over the place. I’ve missed perhaps half a dozen buses while using Google Maps because of unrealistic walking times, but none while using Apple Maps. On the other hand, Google Maps has also sometimes overestimated walking times by ~20 minutes.
As for using public transport, Apple Maps is just more useful. It’s easier to find stations, easier to find out about disruptions and gives better walking directions around stations. Google Maps regularly gets trains and buses mixed up, makes it a pain to find information about disruptions, and in a city with multiple modes of transport (i.e. Melbourne AU with trains, trams and buses) a cluster of train/bus/tram stations on a map just gets rendered as an unreadable mess.
Google’s UI is also a bit of a pain. Several friends (both iOS and Android users) have complained that Google Maps is too fiddly to use on the go. I’d agree, and add that Apple Maps is a lot easier to use on a crowded train or while walking.
That said, for a long time I persistently had problems with Apple Maps being slower to load actual maps. I suppose I’d better start collecting my own usage data and write a blog post.
Actually, Apple Maps will refuse to route me though any of the forest service "roads" and shys away from unpaved ones (though I've found exceptions). Only if I set a intermediate destination in the middle of the forest will it route me through those trails.
Back in city/suburbs, I've found the same as the author, in that Apple pads the time with a few extra minutes. I appreciate that realism because it only takes a few poorly timed traffic lights to add a few minutes to the estimate.
I suspect there is some logic around building padding around lights at large intersections because I noticed that when the destination is right after a major intersection, that padding remains until I clear that intersection—and that doesn't seem to happen when the destination is much further after a big intersection.
It would have been better to see if they all told to take the same route and then compare the predicted time as well as actual time. It's possible that it started raining in one of the case or there was an accident, which added a lot of time to the predicted time.
FWIW, I use Google Maps and Waze alternately. I always arrive a minute or two earlier than the GMaps predictions. It's easy to note this from the summary page after you complete the ride. Waze, sadly, doesn't provide any summary. No idea about Apple Maps as I use Android.
Hearing someone say that turn-by-turn works well makes me wonder if there is something fun going on with Apple testing in miles vs. me using kilometers.
I find that Apple Maps is better at which lane should I be in from what I have seen.
My biggest issue with all of them is you cannot say “hey I have 2 people, ie, carpool” which makes a difference depending on the time of day.
So maybe the problem is less that either one's timing is wrong per se, but that they are quite different, and drivers have difficulties adjusting their expectations.
You bother picking a route but then the app decides that it knows better, all it takes is deviating ever so slightly from the route, which means anytime the app is confused for some reason (parking lot, gas station, ...) it takes over.
In London, much prefer dumber application that because of lack of by the second traffic optimisation try to redirect you back on the main roads. In the country side that's another matter though, going toward one highway ramp or keeping the scenic route for 2 more village can mean half an hour time difference depending on traffic pattern.
Nowadays, I use Waze but look at the route, and if it is overcomplicated, I look to see if it did it for obvious reasons (traffic jams).
Apple Maps is pretty awful for me, it doesn't give enough detail on turns (like what lane to be in), and its POI database sucks. Too many times I've typed in the name of a place that's local and its first suggestions are in another state hundreds of miles away. In non-US/European countries, like if you're driving in South America, don't even bother.
Google certainly has a better POI database, although for the example you gave ("its first suggestions are in another state hundreds of miles away") I'm not sure whether the issue is Apple's database as much as its flaky searching of its own database. I tend to explicitly give it cities when I'm searching for businesses. I suspect if I were in another country, though, I'd quickly give up and just use Google.
It's also ridiculously annoying when a trucker gets into an on-air fight with another trucker, or when one catcalls an attractive woman, or when a megawatt CB broadcaster from Mexico or the Deep South USA comes in full scale spouting literal gibberish.
I enjoy using it on road trips. For commutes, I don’t get the point, but I also don’t have a long commute.
I find Google Maps too distracting as a driver. I like to know the route and it always recalculates. Apple Maps usually uses simpler routing.
I've tried Google Maps and Waze (as well as Google's dashboard thing which keeps a semi-permanent time estimate pinned to some area on your phone), but these all miss the main point in my use case - I only need an detour away from my daily commute maybe twice a month. On the rest of the days, I know how to drive home, thanks. This is not enough for me to be semi-permanently firing up heavy apps to check the route. A simple thing which says "hey, I've noticed you just got in your car, and you're probably heading home - don't take highway X" would be nearly perfect.
If there are major incidents and your route home is much longer than usual, you should get a more visible notification.
Waze has only one thing going for it, and that is the ability to see speed traps. Often it requires keeping an eye on it ahead of your current position as the cops move around now that Waze has become popular.
However, my car doesn't like to use Waze instead of Google Maps. If I hit the "navi" button while in Android Auto mode, it will always bring me to google maps even if I'm currently navigating in Waze. That caused me to stop using Waze entirely, but it is not the fault of Waze themselves, but Mercedes poor technology.
I don't know about Apple but Google at least always tries to route using functional class (FC) 1 & 2 roads. Waze uses whatever.
For European cities this makes a huge difference; particularly during rush hours.
Waze also routes me around traffic lights using FC >2 roads. I've never seen Google do that.
On a side note: Every Uber I took in 2016, 2017 & 2018 in the aforementioned cities, plus Belgrade and Warshaw, was using Waze.
Waze sometimes feels like it's taking you off the beaten path to improve data reliability and collection. I've had it take me off a quiet street onto a country lane only to emerge onto the same quiet street half a mile further along but having spent a significant period of time taking a weird route.
But all that is beyond the point of my original comment, which states that the "benchmark" the author uses likely does not generalize to very well for the following reasons:
* The distribution of all possible routes is large and depends on many variables that I mentioned (traffic, weather, location, etc...). The author's sample of this distribution is tiny and biased towards routes frequently taken by him and his wife. You could probably choose a different 120 routes and compute completely different results.
* Averages can be misleading if you don't know the underlying distribution you are sampling from. As a trivial example, the average value of a set of samples from a Bernoulli distribution with p=0.5 is 0.5 even though all the samples are either 0 or 1. In this case, the average is not a good tool to summarize the data (unless you know it's a Bernoulli distribution). So even if the author had used a million routes, simply taking the average error doesn't say anything meaningful about the error without also understanding the error distribution.
So I think the data and methodology presented in the article are not sufficient to draw any general conclusions about how good the error estimates are in each app.
When there was an error on the map, giving feedback was easy and the map was corrected relatively quickly.
But to me, the main advantages of Google Maps are Streetview, offline caching and better POI. Web access is also a huge plus because there's way more eye balls seeing the map and making corrections so I bet Gmap is more accurate.
A school local to me is called Rushcroft Foundation School. Everyone calls it Rushcroft School. Apple Maps completely fails to find it under that name.
Tempted to try Apple Maps again now that it's improved since launch.
I'm unsure if the native Google Maps app does this too (I uninstalled it years ago so I can't test myself).
I don't mind crossing the road on foot if it gets me there 5 minutes faster! and infact, at my apartment there is usually more parking on the other side of the road...
Recently, their routing algorithm has gotten so bad that I am on the verge of discarding it and probably try HERE maps.
The issues are
1) There was a railroad removal which block the road for several weeks. Waze didn't detect it and I arrived about 15 minutes later. I went home and tried to edit the map and to my surprise, I couldn't do it now whereas I was able to edit the maps once upon a time.
2) Recently, it has routed me to another supposed faster route to my daughter's school. I took that route once and we were late for school.
From then on, I took the route which I am familiar with (which incidentally was what Waze had always been showing me till recently) and I keep seeing the ETA dropping. The ETA for the my regular route is about 5 minutes faster than the new Waze suggested route which is about 35 minutes
Waze provides an additional service here - pointing out police locations, which is extremely useful over long stretches of highway.
I wonder if google Maps' performance is due in part to Waze users being shunted off of main highways?
Another weird though - if Waze is spoon feeding you ads, don't they want you to drive as long as possible?
--Waze needs a way to mark your parking spot any time you arrive anywhere. Sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not, like when you stop somewhere other than the routed destination.
+++The arrival time estimate is excellent.
--The pop-up ads are TRULY OBNOXIOUS and basically stupid as others have pointed out.
+++The police AND STOPLIGHT CAMERA warnings are helpful.
--The ride sharing button is way too prominent and a waste of valuable UI territory.
--The hazard reporting requires too many clicks. I just noticed the "OK WAZE" feature and haven't had a chance to use it yet.
+++The alternate routing view, with the ability to see multiple alternate routes and their estimated trip times is excellent, too.
Every year, entire Munich traffic grinds to a halt once the first 5 snowflakes hit the ground. I guess the drivers of expensive German cars must be rather afraid to bump their precious new bumpers. Anyway, this is use-case #1 for Waze. It will guide you past the traffic using all nooks and crannies, and one-lane farmer's roads around town. Use-case #2 is reports of accidents AKA traffic police, who will block a major artery for any imaginable reason, past present or future, and for as long as they god damn please.
Now Google, great-and-all. One winter I drove to the nearby mountainous region of Czech Republic, before the EU anti-roaming-fee-law, so I whipped out my corporate phone with super strict mandatory software update policy. I thought I knew Google Maps so I followed the guidance with complete confidence. Half hour into the Republic, the icy serpentine road gets worse by the kilometer, but my SUV would surely handle that as long as I'm patient and careful. Next thing I know, my destination's on the right! But it's only a stop-over and the blue line goes ALL THE WAY BACK the dangerous, unsalted and completely unnecessary road, adding an hour of grief to the already delayed getting-there. I swear I never touched the screen to agree to stop over at that restaurant, the suggestion must have either confirmed itself upon a timeout or the touchscreen must have bumped against something in the compartment under the windshield. And I never heard about Google Maps making suggestions in the middle of a trip anyway. This was the last time I used an up-to-date Google Maps, the old version's just fine, thank you very much. The newer one could have killed my whole family that night.
Alright, I don't hate Google or Munich or even the local police quite as much as I might sound like. Ads are broken though, which means a huge potential for distraction-free marketing.
MAE: mean absolute error: easy to understand metric. Given a stable system, this was my go-to standard.
Bias: you put this one in. Generally, you want your predictions to be slightly pessimistic.
RMSE: root mean square error. Most important one. Being 5 minutes off consistently is better than 30 minutes occasionally.
Precision: larger trips can have larger errors. Here you divide your error by the predicted (or actual, or both) and then aggregate.
Then obviously I would separate it into classes. Each 15 minute longer trip would have its own class. Highway vs suburb, region in the Netherlands, time of day and weekday.
This is essentially why I use waze: When there is an incident or other major block of a highway, the delays can easily be hours. With waze, I am routed around them. This have saved me catching a flight and arriving to a meeting in time on several occasions, as waze routing essentially is minimizing RMSE. Being 5% late eats into my safety margin, but when a trip takes 200% my estimated travel time it ruins my day.
Also, whoever thought it was a great idea to permanently stick a button in the user interface that brings up an ad for Waze Carpool needs to be soundly whipped. I mean, I don't have any studies to back this up, but I'm pretty sure that when someone is in their car already, using Waze, they don't need to schedule a carpool pickup. Because they're in their car. Driving.