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Apple Maps vs. Google Maps vs. Waze (arturrr.com)
367 points by jonathanehrlich on Feb 20, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 286 comments

I used to be a huge Waze fan, and I do still use it, but both Apple Maps and Google Maps provide much better UX in a lot of ways: I really miss lane guidance, for instance. I think Waze still has the best traffic guidance, but I'm pretty sure the number of times I've clicked "yes, now that you've shown me this ad, I would like you to stop the route I'm on now and take me 17 minutes out of my way to go to the nearest Burger King, thanks" is 0%.

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.

> "yes, now that you've shown me this ad, I would like you to stop the route I'm on now and take me 17 minutes out of my way to go to the nearest Burger King, thanks" is 0%.

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?

Why do you put up with that? Why not just use a different app?

Most of the time I do. I only use Waze when on long-haul freeways, concerned about police & other traffic issues. I usually use Apple Maps as general runabout guidance, Google Maps when really concerned about best/scenic routes, Google Earth when interested in topography.

Whenever I hear people (and I hear it a lot) saying they use Waze to avoid police, I never really understand it. Waze is all user-reported, right? It's not a radar detector. So even if 100% of drivers are Wave users and they report 100% of police waiting at speed traps, there always has to be the first Waze user to encounter that cop without warning from their app. And that 100% number is a huge assumption.

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.

You don’t need 100% accuracy to save money using Waze. Even if they only catch 90% of speeed traps, that still saves you 90% of your speeding fines.

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.

‘This simple method will save you 100% of your speeding tickets and you will be surprised what it is’

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.

That's insane to my ears. Maybe it's just where I live, but speeding isn't just a fine you pay, it has legal ramifications. It's literally breaking the law. You get points on your license that causes your insurance to go up for years afterward, and after enough points, it causes your license to be taken away. It's not even unheard of for commercial drivers to be fired and not be able to get another job for as few as one or two speeding tickets.

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.

It’s a standard practice in traffic engineering to set limits based on 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic in good conditions. That apparently tends to produce an optimal speed limit from a crash/mortality perspective, but has the side effect of criminalizing the conduct of 15 percent of motorists. That’s a shockingly high number of otherwise law-abiding people who end up being on the wrong side of the optimization.

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 literally does not matter what the "safe speed" of a road is or how fast "free flowing traffic" will go. We have set a social contract, this is how fast traffic should go on this road. Pedestrians trying to cross the road now can accurately judge how quickly an oncoming car will reach them. Cars trying to pull out of side streets can now accurately judge how much time they have to enter the roadway. Cars entering the freeway can now judge how quickly the car behind them is approaching. It is impossible to tell if someone is coming towards you at 35mph or 55mph until it's too late.

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.

> It’s a standard practice in traffic engineering to set limits based on 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic in good conditions. That apparently tends to produce an optimal speed limit from a crash/mortality perspective, but has the side effect of criminalizing the conduct of 15 percent of motorists.

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.

Do you have a citation for that? It sounds plausible but I bet the real situation is more complicated.

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 don’t speed. I’m not cavalier about speeding and I resent you putting that on me. I am an extremely cautious driver.

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.

You'd be surprised just how good the user reporting is. I took a 7-hour drive through Ohio with a friend who has a very expensive, supposedly "detects everything" radar detector. We used Waze for the entire trip, as well. During that trip, Waze spotted every single police officer. I'm not sure what was going on, but there was a cop hidden about every five to ten miles on the trip -- something I've never seen before, despite trekking through Ohio on more than a few occasions[0]. His very expensive radar missed many of the cops (maybe they weren't firing the laser? who knows). The best part, though, was when we hit the Cincinnati and his radar had to be silenced due to all of the false positives it kept throwing. There was one false positive with Waze, which was barely a false positive as it was clear the police officer had moved and there were simply two entries for the same cop.

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.

[0] 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.

I can’t even find words for how much I’d be against using what you describe while driving. From a UX perspective, but also from a general traffic safety perspective, this sounds like a dealbreaker. Why not just use AM or GM? I find the police reporting people mention here very dangerous and childish as well. Just don’t speed. It is quite easy.

Do you travel around town a lot for work? Why do you use a navigation app when heading home for the day?

The city I live in is not flat, nor rectilinear, nor logically arranged. Therefore, algorithmic traffic modelling is hard, statistical models from previous data aren't reliable, and shift happens. I can visualize the way, or the map, but I only have a very general idea which route is least congested now; enter traffic crowdsourcing, and voila...oh wait, it's all congested anyway, as the other Waze users get rerouted to alternates.

To find the least congested route to home from office and vice versa.

Though I know all the roads around here (Bay Area) I still need google maps to find out which one is least congested.

That makes sense. I guess it's a mixed bag having many possible routes home

How do these things even exist? Obviously the people in the cars don't want them, and will never use them. Even the people A/B testing them should eventually figure that out.

I suppose it's the "better horse" paradox. A/B testing can only get you incremental improvements, to make the leap from a really good horse to a car, you need to make a bet and sustain it for a bit to get people comfortable enough to decide to try it out.

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.

> better horse

I've been looking for a way to articulate this problem in A/B testing, thanks.

When hundreds of people try to ride the same horse at the same time, is it still better?

That's what I call a "better horse paradox".

Presumably they get paid to put them in regardless of whether they are used; and enough people accidentally click it that it stays in use.

> I really miss lane guidance, for instance

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.

I guess it depends where, but in both London and Bordeaux (where I live and where I lived), on a dual carriage way you never know if right lane is right only, or right and straight ahead. Equally, the left lane could be left turn only, or left turn and straight ahead.

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)

I had the same issue when I was living in Geneva, especially when driving in dense traffic. You'd be on the right lane of a two lane road, and suddenly it turns to the right while the left lane continues on straight. And obviously there'd be no way to quickly go to the left lane anymore because the traffic is severely stuck anyway. So then you end up driving in the wrong direction, still stuck in traffic, and have to take a (sometimes significant) detour.

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...

Don't the street signs give you an indication that a lane branches off?

Not always, but perhaps I misremember. It's usually printed on the road itself though, but you can't always see that because other cars are queued on top of it...

I’ve a particular junction in mind where there’s no street signage on the junction saying you can’t go straight in the left lane until you’re at the junction (which is around a bend), and he only road markings for it are covered by cars queueing to go straight. Google also gets this particular junction wrong.

One of the disadvantages of having round-abouts everywhere is that they aren't as well marked as they are in the states.

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.

Roundabouts in the US? - Amateurs: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.5626214,-1.7700658,3a,75y,...

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.

Wow, my mind is blown. It's roundabout inception.

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.

There's only one Magic Roundabout. It was the result of an open tender and I think that the winning team was from a local college. There were five roads leading into a weird space and it needed fixing. It's not as bad as it looks. Actually, it is as bad as it looks when you first encounter it.

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.

There's another one in Hemel Hempstead: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.7447339,-0.4732789,167a,35...

It's very simple: yield to people making a left from Shrivensham, then enter the first roundabout. The internal circle is not a roundabout, people already inside will yield to you. So you can continue going forward (over the KEEP CLEAR area) and navigate around the center anti-clockwise. You yield again to people from Shrivensham and depending on what exist you want you need to traverse another one or two roundabouts and exit the desired road.

That about rounds it up, I would say!

I used to think European roundabouts were exciting. Then I went to China.

If you need excitement in Europe, I can recommend anywhere near or in Naples (Napoli) or Rome, Paris, Deutsche Autobahns and most of Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

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.

China is a whole different world driving-wise. After I got in a cab in Guangzhou, the driver immediately made a u-turn across 4 lanes of traffic, then drove the wrong way into a 5(?) lane roundabout (explaining "shorter this way"--he would have needed to go almost all they way around in the "correct" direction). No other drivers honked or indicted real surprise with either maneuver.

I agree that it's difficult, but I've found that google gets it wrong as often as it gets it right.

Try driving around in New Jersey, especially close to New York. There are some exits, for example, where the exit is two lanes, but one of the lanes splits off from the main lane, but you better be in that left lane because you have to keep left right after you take that right exit... and then take another right after that.

Lane guidance is very helpful in these situations.

You get this north of Chicago a lot too... on I-294 merge into the right two lanes, keep left, pass the exit, merge into the right lane, keep right, merge left to finally get onto I-90.

I drive it several times a year and I still need lane guidance to help.

Seriously. I can handle most NYC driving but I'd be absolutely ruined in Jersey or even Westchester without lane guidance.

Sorry I’m nt arguing against lane guidance. My issue is that google gets it wrong in many situations (usually when you need it)

It's intuitive, until it isn't. I can from the top of my head cite various autobahn crossings in Germany where you need to keep on the left to ultimately go right because you're going through an underpass: The A81 crossing in Heilbronn coming from Heidelberg, the crossing at Dreieck Funkturm in Berlin coming from Potsdam, ...

It's also often useful to know how many lanes can be used for a turn, etc, so you can switch lanes early.

Google Maps has been a lifesaver in Sydney CBD for me as a driver unfamiliar with the Byzantine lane timing required, lack of signalling, and frequent undocumented works and blockages (I do wish they'd incorporate the random M5 closures though). It does get laggy and imprecise once you get in the area with tall buildings though.

At least around the SF Bay Area, there are often freeway exits and splits where multiple lanes are turning in one direction, but you want to be in a specific lane for an immediate upcoming split or turn. If I don't know the specific turn I'm taking (I've never been there, perhaps, or I'm just not there too often), this can definitely save me the aggravation of trying to navigate across several busy lanes of traffic to make a turn on the other side of the road.

(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.)

I was driving through Atlanta the other day for the first time and now appreciate the value of lane guidance. You can be on an 8 lane highway with three simultaneous exit options. If you find yourself in the wrong lane it is not an enjoyable experience.

> 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

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.

I presume that's the idea. I'm not questioning the idea as much as this particular implementation. :) If I ran the zoo, I would have sent a message to everyone's inbox (at least, everyone in areas that Waze Carpool exists!) once, then updated the app to have a "Learn about Carpool" link somewhere that is not the main driving screen.

Is it even safe to ask you to click buttons while driving?

The ads only come when you are fully stopped (e.g. traffic light).

Does it also check for a stopped engine?

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.

How does that integrate with the prevalence of stop-start engine technology nowadays?

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.

Stop-start is not sufficient to satisfy the criteria. This is now mentioned explicitly in the law.

It is the same in Germany.

Using your phone at an intersection is completely legal in Germany as long as you turn your car off. Not that anyone would advise you to do so.

May I ask for a source? I heard the opposite. Your car must not participate in traffic when you use the phone. It's fine if you're parked somewhere and have the engine off. But being parked at an intersection where people would expect you to react to traffic doesn't allow you to use the phone.

You don't have to interact with the ad. It goes away when you are driving again.

But if you did interact with the ad to accept whatever it is pushing, presumably you would be breaking the law.

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.

This matches my experience trying to use Waze, multiple times, over multiple years. Sometimes the "creative" routes would seem to save time, other times exiting the freeway to take a surface street would have me sitting at the offramp for 10 minutes... possibly with all of the other Waze users who were routed that way.

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.

I wish Waze (or others) had a "lookback report" after arriving at the destination, where they picked all users near me at the origin, filtered out those that ended up near me at the end, and grouped by different routes taken. It would take a certain user base size to get this to work. But it would be awesome to see an apples-to-apples A/B comparison of routes, and once and for all answer the question "was I a fool to take the back roads instead of the main route?"

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.

> "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.

> 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[0] 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.)

[0] https://www.flitsmeister.nl/

So basically its killer feature is that it helps with going over the speed limit?

Pretty much

A literal killer feature.

I’m surprised they haven’t added an always on microphone feature to the app yet. Some like, “Hey Waze- Pothole!”. I doubt the majority user base would care about Google listening to your every word.

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.

There is an “OK, Waze” feature[0], that does essentially this, although I haven’t used it myself.

[0] https://support.google.com/waze/answer/6268717?hl=en

Traveling the weird routes that waze sends me on is way more stressful to me than sitting in traffic. Especially now that I have an electric car. So I deleted Waze pretty quickly to just go with the mainstream apps. That being said, I'd still rather walk or bike than drive, even if it takes a little longer.

>Especially now that I have an electric car.

But how electric car makes sitting in traffic better?

For one the engine isn't humming alerting you to the gas you're wasting just sitting there. Also many cars have a jackrabbit start so it's literally uncomfortable to go 1-10mi/hr (don't forget those manual shifters).

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.

One can take the HOV lane with an electric car.

You can configure waze for hov routes

I love that waze is configurable in this and other ways. That + the cop detector are what drive me to use it. Sadly, as an iOS user with CarPlay, it’s apple maps for nav with waze running in the background to alert me of hazards. Not elegant but it works.

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.

I like your hack for Waze, I never tried it. I was convinced that Apple Maps would block Waze from giving alerts. I'll try it out tomorrow, another 30s wasted every morning because Apple have decided to shove Maps down our throats...

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.

Oh right, forgot that they added it. But have never had a chance to use it.

"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."

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.

I have had waze same me hours on trips. Reporting accidents a few miles ahead of me that have just happened. Often waze takes me on routes that are just slightly faster, but they keep me moving which I prefer.

There is a "I saved a minute or two (maybe) but driving down odd unfamiliar streets wasn't that fast and kinda a hassle" factor.

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.

Yeah. And even without considering unfamiliarity, simpler (in terms of number of steps) paths are better, even if they’re slightly slower.

Another thing none of the apps take into account (and it'd be hard to) is the quality and condition of the roads.

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.

Yeah the snow plow issue is a problem. I've had google send me horrible ways to avoid the highway. I get what they're thinking with the math generally, but it was terrible advice.

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.

I feel like the "creative" routes have gotten so much worse too. Some of my favorite examples-

* 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.

It used to suggest I make a left from a tiny DC side street onto a 4 lane road with cross traffic that doesn't stop... During rush hour. Technically a shorter route that avoids traffic, but only faster if you're a driver with much less concern for personal safety than I.

It's just scary cutting through streets in SOMA which are two lanes of heavy traffic each way because Waze thinks it's fast to go down a narrow alley.

Indeed — you can choose to “reduce difficult intersections”[0] when selecting a route (tap the gear icon when the route list comes up), which might help in these situations. The article says they the feature was initially rolled out in LA, but it’s at least in the Bay Area at this point.

[0] https://www.engadget.com/2016/06/19/waze-avoid-difficult-int...

I love that waze let’s you at least specify a preference. Apple maps and Google Maps are too simple in this regard IMO. Ideally, for advanced users, you could choose 0-100 how to optimize for route “stickiness” (staying on the same roads) vs aggressive optimization for time.

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).

Pretty sure from some limited sampling that waze is responsible for this cluster [1]. If you zoom in you can see the right-turn only sign at the intersection. What you cannot really see is that two blocks of cars waiting all have their left-turn signals on (well, the ones that bothered to signal).

I really dislike some of the externalities created by waze.

[1]: http://pangram.org/images/tacoma.jpg

This is easy to fix, you report a map problem in Waze and then follow up on a computer and mark that this turn only allows turning right. If needed you can provide this picture.

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?

I think it may be fixed now but drivers were making left turns from there (SE 6th and Tacoma, Portland, OR) for months. The left turn there is only for cyclists and when the cars stacked up it made for very sketchy biking. As for me having the responsibility of fixing bad directions, that’s exactly (part of) the externality I’m objecting to. Why, as a resident of that neighborhood is it my job to help fix it?

The whole dynamic rerouting thing is a prisoner's dilemma though. And the Bay Area is probably the worst are to avoid the metaphorical snitches.

Waze once took me through the roughest parts of DTLA, with dozens of homeless people in the street. Now my protocol is to immediately check the alternate routes to see 1) how much faster is the first choice and 2) Is it a zig zag off/on freeway or random streets just to save a few minutes. Common sense from there for enjoyable driving.

I just mentally subtract 20 minutes from the time saved. If the remaining number is still positive it's usually worth it.

I mean the only solution to the problem would be Waze actively directing traffic...

And I do not Silicon Valley to direct traffic in my city.

I'd like to see a review of how the various navigation apps do in situations with unusually heavy, unusually widespread traffic, such as when people were trying to go home after the 2017 total eclipse in the US.

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.

My own experience, returning from western Kentucky to the Chicago area, was interesting in the "may you live in interesting times" sense. From the outset I decided to take back roads where feasible. Traveling through rural southern Illinois, I noticed small parades of cars forming, and Google Maps wanted to put me on Route 1, which turned into a massive parade of cars.

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.

Nice anecdote - was there too. Don't think we can hold nav apps accountable in these extreme circumstances. Just not enough data for them to extrapolate. I studied my route while driving in from Washington and thought about pinch points on the way back and possible mitigations. Used gmaps real time traffic and did pretty well coming back north - following gmaps routing would have been bad. Oh, and then WSDOT closed I-90 for blasting. Glad I missed that.

We had several cars decamping from middle-of-nowhere Kentucky to Champaign, IL. I plotted the route back by looking at the paper map in the glove compartment for Ohio River crossings, and then telling the GPS to take me on that bridge. Everyone else took I-24 back until they got cell coverage telling them that maybe IL-145 and US-45 (already saturated with Illinois eclipse traffic) would be faster than I-57 (even more saturated). I managed to get back at least an hour faster than the rest, although I still wonder if it wouldn't have been faster to detour as far east as Evansville, or at least the minor county road further east (as most of the traffic I hit was ~1mi long backups every stop sign).

Waze, does have an option to avoid dirt roads, it works great when you have random dirt (pot hole filled) road as an alternate route to work that you never want to take at least. It is for some reason hidden in the settings, and not enable by default.

I was on the same route as you. Fortunately we (me with my friend) were in an SUV with AWD, and had a lot of fun drifting through a trail (maybe not the same one you got) following advice from Google Maps.

Oh yeah and we did get ahead of miles of stuck traffic.

Huh, I got really lucky leaving when I did, we decided to ditch Madras slightly before 10am and got up to Warm Springs, where we pulled over and watched the eclipse.

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!

“Washboard” is the common term for that phenomenon. You can mitigate it by driving faster than you should, but you’ll have basically zero traction.

I was driving back from South Carolina to Northern Virginia the day after the eclipse. The first hours were uneventful, by the time I hit I-81 things got crazy. I had all 3 nav apps running (Waze, Google, Apple), Waze kept routing me off of the interstate and onto side roads, which in SW Virginia involve quite hilly terrain so are anything but direct. Apple and Google never deviated from the interstate even though the predicted arrival time kept climbing. In the end I took some of Waze's advice but I am not sure that it saved any time. I finally went with my own navigation system, I know that this road (US Rt 29) will eventually get me to where I want to be AND it is not at a standstill. I am sure it took longer, but the drive was way more pleasant. Bottom-line, a drive that normally would take a little more than 8 hours, took 12 hours and no nav app saved the day.

One feature I miss in navigation services is an ability to choose the “easy” route. For example, I live in the Midwest and usually I’d rather take the interstate, even if it’s 5 minutes longer, than a series of country roads. Obviously you can choose this when you know where you’re going but forget it if you’re in an unfamiliar area. A simple heuristic for this would be which route involves the fewest different roads.

I want the opposite of this; sometimes when I’m on a road trip, I want to drive through random one- or two-lane roads that go through super cool areas. One time when I was driving cross-country (US) google routed me for about 10 miles through a 1.5-lane road through a forest instead of the highway. It was magical. Beautiful, winding roads, tons of animals, etc. It’s super hard to find roads like that normally.

If you are committed enough, you can convince OSMAnd to avoid larger highways. It comes with an option to avoid freeways, which is just a parameter in the routing specification:


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.

Google Maps does this to a certain extent (but it might need some learning period). At times you might notice the route it suggests you is labeled as "best", not as "fastest". Usually, for example, it sends me via the highway even if it is theoretically 2 minutes slower than the alternative via tons of small roads / intersections. Maps is also pretty smart in estimates in general, it takes intersections and the average wait time / time lost into account.

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).

But Google also often uses "shortcuts" that send you through residential areas just to save 1 minute. Esp. in the US if there's no interstate anyway. Instead of keeping you on the large road, GMaps often sends you via small (gravel) roads.

Really? I don't see that happening very often here in Belgium. Unless traffic on the main roads is really really bad, I hardly ever get sent through residential areas.

(We have an incredibly dense road network though, so main roads are usually significantly faster anyway.)

I rarely encounter it in Europe (although it happened to me in rural England), seems to be mostly US. Probably because speed limits on many small roads are the same as on larger roads and local residents drive at the same speed (which Google uses to calculate trip time).

This!! I prefer to take roads wheres theres protected turns if its making me take a left. I hate trying to take a left onto a highway from a small road. Really need an option to prefer bigger roads.

Does google not already do this? I drove in the US for the first time a month ago, and GMaps regularly had us take 3 rights and add 3 miles on to save us taking a left turn (which I ignored once I figured out what was going on)

Sometimes but its more luck than anything. It'll still make me take a left if its faster which it usually is vs taking a right all the way around a block

That would be a great feature. Where I live Waze usually decides that the quickest route is through a series of side streets through less than ideal areas in the city. There should be a way tell Waze that there's a reason few cars pass through there

I used to swear by Waze, proselytizing to anyone who would listen, and otherwise. There are two main reasons I stopped using it altogether.

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.

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.]

Is it? Snarky and obvious comments generally will attract down votes. Those kind of comments become tiresome and dilute a discussion.

It didn't strike me as snarky at all, and it's also not obvious considering that many people want the police warnings so that they can break the law. Apparently complying with laws is seen as optional by a lot of folks, and the result is mass deaths and injury.

Police and red light camera warnings in Waze always struck me as both encouragement and enablement of deliberate law breaking.

> result is mass deaths and injury

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.

Yep, and there's a whole market for radar detection. It's basically an unethical software feature.

You shouldn't conflate the law with ethics so readily. The same logic could apply to lots of different encryption or security technology.

I do not drive much (12k km per year) and this is 80% on roads I know. The remaining 20% is the road to vacation, usually with everyone in my region going to the same spots (this is in France).

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"

Google predicts traffic in the future when deciding which route is best.

That prediction will lead to users being spread across different routes.

Ah? This is interesting and a very good thing - it may not be deployed everywhere, perhaps?

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.

It's actually a complex one, and a constant source of user complaints.

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.

The only reason I use Apple Maps is I trust Cupertino with my map queries, which can mindlessly leak lots of information. They aren’t trying to sell me ads and have a record of putting privacy first.

As long as you're not a Chinese citizen, you should be alright! /s

What I like about Waze: All the data other than the route itself, he location of speed traps most importantly.

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.

> he location of speed traps most importantly.

How in any was is that legal or ethical to have that data available.

Because, as was hashed out in court on exactly that question: the purpose of speed enforcement is to reduce speeding, not generate ticket revenue. If making people aware that they’re going to get caught speeding -makes them slow down- then the police presence is reducing the crime.

The point is to reduce speeding everywhere, not just in a few places that have cameras. What a joke.

We haven’t heard your solution to the problem yet...

Average speed check zones. Multiple cameras that identify your car and ensure your average speed between point to point is not above the legal limit. Sure, you can go above the speed limit and then slow down, but it would be a pain to have to slow down, specially if you put cameras the entrance and exit of service stations in highways to discount breaks.

This would be a crazy revenue boost for metro areas outside of rush hour, where interstates are typically 55mph zones, while the traffic collectively moves at 65-70mph; going any slower than the flow is dangerous, but it's a dilemma to risk a ticket or risk a rear-ender.

Not OP but limit cars sold in a country to whatever the speed on the freeway is. e.g. in the UK, all cars registered here must have limiters fitted to stop it exceeding 70mph.

This would prevent speeding (but stop overtaking) on motorways, which I argue are the roads that need the least speed control. Speeding is probably more harmful on all other roads where you have pedestrians, cyclists and complex road layouts.

I agree, but if the goal is to simply stop speeding, it will stop it on motorways. Whether it has any safety benefits or not is incidental.

Well there's the problem. Why is that a goal. http://www.sehinc.com/news/truth-about-speed-limits-explaine...

Oh sorry - to be clear, I was being a little pedantic about he question the parent mentioned - what is his solution to stopping speeding. I agree that reducing Speed limits (particularly on motorways) isn’t the answer. There are other reasons for it however, eg Ireland [0] is attempting to reduce the speed for environmental reasons.

[0] https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.irishtimes.com/news/irela...

This will result in lives lost when people can’t overtake.

I don't see how this could happen. What scenario could you be in that you can safely overtake (at 70+mph) that you can't avoid by slowing down?

Sure, but it will save many more lives by reducing speeding.

If Waze's police and red light camera indications cause more people to comply the law while driving, isn't that already better than not having this feature at all?

In europe you usuallly have warning before speedtrap. You can also hear about them in fm radio.

The point is to slow down, not to get you a ticket..

Though interestingly, in France it is nominally illegal to have your SatNav warn you of speed cameras. You are meant to turn that facility off when visiting.

Indeed, and the TomTom interface for reporting speed cameras becomes instead an interface for reporting 'hazards' (with no prizes for guessing the kinds of 'hazards' that people then choose to report).

The point is to stop people speeding in every location, so how does this achieve that?

The point of all traffic regulations and enforcement is to improve safety. Ensuring people adhere to the limits in high-risk areas does that.

And if the police focused their efforts in "high-risk areas" it would be hard to make the argument that speed enforcement is all about revenue.

They don't, so it's not.

That's a different tangent. Can enforcers abuse their enforcement privileges? Sure. Is the point of traffic regulations 'to stop people speeding in every location'? No.

Why not just put in speedbumps every few miles, then?

There is another solution which is being implemented in my country: average speed traps. Instead of the measuring your momentary speed it measures the time you take to go over some particular distance and then calculates your average speed. If it is over the limit, you are in trouble.

The reason there aren't speed bumps every few miles is the same reason it's not illegal to tell each other where the speed traps are: there is tension between public support for the goal, and public annoyance at enforcement.

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.

> This is also why it's not illegal to buy a car that can go 120 mph

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.)

I'd love to hear about the times going 120 mph kept you safe from an accident.

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.

Presumably if you had time to accelerate to 120mph, you had time to slow down instead?

I don't think you can easily ban people telling each other about speed traps, and by extension having a program with similar features.

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).

What legal or ethical laws does it violate to have that data available?

You can buy a radar detector on amazon or $50, I'd say probably not many otherwise those would be much more regulated.

I grew up in Virginia, where radar detectors are illegal. I was surprised to learn that Virginia is in fact the only US state to ban radar detectors. It's also the only state to consider going 20 over the speed limit (or over 80 even on a 70mph highway) automatic reckless driving.

It's not illegal to know where police are, even if it may be illegal to operate a radar detector.

Providing this information makes it easier for people to speed in other places, making the roads a more dangerous place. This rule has definitely cost lives. If you don't think it is unethical, then what is your definition?

Seeing how people react to unmarked speed cameras(police on the side of the road): full brakes with zero concern what is behind them, I'd say not telling people where cameras are is far more dangerous.

This sounds like an excellent place for a [Citation Needed] tag, no pun intended.


tldr; speed traps save lives and reduce injury.

That's a meta-analysis that doesn't focus on police activities, but rather unattended camera installations. Results of such studies have hardly been unequivocal, unlike the financial benefits to the camera operators.

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.

Waze always has the latest accident and traffic reports. There are three main routes to my job. I always open it up in the morning and check travel times for each one (just press Routes button instead of Go). I have my preferred route, which is always fastest and shortest, but if Waze ever suggests one of the other two, I know I should listen. When I look into it, it’s usually some major accident or something affecting a lane of travel. The few times I ignored it I deeply regretted it. Makes the difference between a 60 minute commute vs a 90 min commute on a bad day.

Google Maps is the same for me. Some of the accidents in Google Maps are labeled "reported by Waze" or something like that. It seems like I get the best of both worlds: crowdsourced traffic data from Waze within the clean interface of Google Maps.

Definitely. I find myself using Waze primarily for that sort of hotspot detection, when I know all/almost all potential routes, but want to know how bad the best/worst case travel times are. If Waze reroutes me onto surface streets, best call in to my first meeting, that sort of thing.

Interesting, but Apple Maps is still completely, utterly useless in Portugal (in both major cities, for any kind of trip), in Dublin (as a pedestrian) and in Madrid (as a commuter/pedestrian).

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.

As an Apple Maps hating, Waze fanboy with neutral opinion about Google Maps, I find this post fairly accurate.

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.

I'm the same, I'm quite new to iOS but I love the Maps app when it goes into a more birdseye view when you're coming up to a roudabout or other tricky areas, it's much easy to see which exit to take.

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.

Just personally I'll never use Apple Maps because their customer/developer support suck.

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.

Seems like a problem with closed systems in general. You are at the mercy of them, completely.

Consider contributing to - and suggesting to others - OpenStreetMap :)

Reminds me reading on some guy phoning his lyft drivers whether they're using Waze for a similar reason some days ago, may have even been on HN.

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..

Like most support systems for mapping, I have to imagine that it only triggers an actual ticket if multiple people report an issue at that same spot. Make sure you have your friends report it too and any Uber/Lyft drivers that get tied up there. That'll get it fixed in a jiffy.

That’s really strange.

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.

Out of curiousity, what intersection was it, and is it still unfixed?

Yes. It's the roundabout on Otis st in mission bay.

I don't see an Otis St on google maps in Mission Bay, what are the cross streets?

This article is taking the estimated arrival time into account, but not sudden external influences like accidents or traffic jams. I’ve used Waze in São Paulo, throughout the UK and Germany, and find it to be very creative concerning route finding. In the same situations, Google Or Apple maps seem much more conservative and consider “riding out” the traffic jams instead of taking nifty shortcuts. Especially in São Paulo, that was a HUGE time saver.

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.

Was it really a time saver or did it just feel like a time saver? In the US I found Waze unrealistically optimistic that back-roads and alternative routes would save time -- my ETA started great, but slowly worsened until I was better off riding out the traffic.

Yea, I suspect they have a significant bias as suggesting you stay in heavy traffic makes it seem like the App is useless.

I don’t drive so I can’t say I’ve ever used Waze, but I did recently switch from Google Maps to Apple Maps. I’d say that the author’s findings about both apps largely mirrors my own experience using them for public transport and walking directions.

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.

2 years ago I went on the (rocky & dirt) forest "roads" in the North Georgia mountains with my Jeep, and at the top of the dirt trail, I encountered a couple of hikers who drove their rental Nissan Versa into a mud pit. They had blindly followed their GPS and were completely stuck. I was too busy helping them get out of their predicament to notice exactly what they were using but I know that it wasn't Apple Maps (they were on Android).

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.

Isn't 120 rides too few to come to a conclusion? Specially with different routes, different conditions?

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.

Disc: Googler.

It is conclusive for his usage, which is the majority of trips he took in 2017. It will make him make an objective, informed decision going forward. I would also say it is relevant for a large percentage of people on HN. Should he not share this information because it isn't scientifically conclusive?

I never said the author shouldn't publish it. I find the method, data and the conclusion presented flawed.

So I switched to CarPlay so I am forced to use Apple maps. It’s not that bad. I think the turn by turn is better then Google was. The only issues I cannot figure out is when you have to paths showing on the screen (dashboard screen) and you want to pick the other one (not default). There seems to be no way to do that. You just have to know to make that alternate turn then it picks it up.

Where do you live? I live in Canada and I find that Apple Maps is way too late to tell me when to turn. I'm driving along at 90km/h and it tells me to turn two seconds before I pass the rural intersection, which isn't enough warning for me to slow down safely.

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.

Bay Area. Traffic only moves at 5 mph so no worries! The funny part here is I did the dot.bomb also. Traffic was so bad. Then it crashed and the area cleared out. No traffic but no money. So us old guys always remind ourself now that the traffic sucks, but we are getting paid!

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.

That's funny, because I usually use Apple Maps, and when I use Google Maps, I get irritated because I get the turn instructions much too soon and often turn into one cross street too early.

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.

That's odd. I don't have that problem in the UK or France when I drive with it. Possibly a device glitch?

I haven't done it yet, but it's possible to jailbreak and put any app on CarPlay.

Now we get to risk running malware / bricking our cars too :) great!

My car also supports the same functionality for Android, with all the permissiveness that goes with. I can only presume there's isolation between essentially an external display for the phone and the car's core features.

Yes, especially in the case of CarPlay it's just a second display streaming protocol. Additionally, most auto nav systems run on a separate CAN (Controller Area Network) bus although this isolation is usually extremely leaky and not particularly secure (the "gateways" linking the system are often full of memory safety exploits at best or simply pass malicious messages between buses or don't verify anything at worst). But in short, jailbreaking your iPhone is much more dangerous for the security of your personal data on your phone than the integrity of your car.

As far as I can tell you have to choose at the beginning, once you locked a route in you have to cancel and start over to get another route.

That is somewhat inconsistent though. Actually the opposite is what's annoying me me with all 3 mappings app.

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.

Only from the CarPlay screen... I think you can change to alternate routes from your phone screen at any time.

Correct, which is frustrating.

Correct. I just ignore it for the routes I know. I use it for the traffic view more then anything as I know the route.

My main problem with this study is that it's only in the Bay Area. I live in Ohio, and I've actually found Waze to be MUCH better. I tend to be at my destination before my estimated time, unlike what this article describes. This may have to do with several factors though: Less traffic density, less people using Waze, etc.

Waze pointing out police and road hazards has saved my bacon a lot. Sometimes it routes me wrong, but sometimes I distrusted it's recommendation to go through a side street, only to slam into a huge traffic jam that it was routing me around.

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.

The current version of Apple Maps has lane guidance which works pretty well in the areas I've used it (around a fair amount of northern California, not just the SF Bay area, as well as the Tampa Bay area in Florida).

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.

He totally missed the main reason most people use Waze. Crowd sourced speed trap locator.

I've been listening to a CB radio and comparing it to waze during my commute, and CB radio is still arguably superior in avoiding speed traps and wrecks. Truckers use waze a lot but still always default to radio for real-time traffic information.

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 hate waze, but I hate even more to get speed fines. So, Radar warnings is the only reason it made me switch from my old garmin gps. Google maps, on the opposite, fills all the boxes that I like, but not the one that I need.

No data, but my suspicion is that Waze expects you to speed more. If Waze drivers on average are more aggresive, they're predictions might be accurately tuned for them.

That actually seems like quite a reasonable assumption. Knowing the normal speeds on the roads in my area, vs the speed limits, the difference in time between Google and Waze predictions seem to support that.

I think google maps learns from your driving habits and predicts accordingly. Just a hunch based on my personal experience.

Waze is great as long as there isn’t many lights or stop signs.

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.

My everyday use case for navigation is along the lines of having a buddy tell me to avoid a certain route, due to traffic.

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.

It's the same for weather apps. It would be cool to just get a notification when about to head out: "hey, you might want to take a scarf with you today, it's a bit chilly!"

Try Dark Sky. It has configurable alerts for bad weather etc. I get a daily prediction notification every morning a bit after I get up (to help choose what to wear), and as needed for bad weather.

Google Maps has commute updates. If you tell it what your commute is, on Android anyway, you'll get a discrete notification telling you how long the route home is, and a very quick summary of what route to take (for me it says either the name of the highway I take, or the name of the longest non-highway road on the alternative route). It works well and doesn't require you to actively check the complete route.

If there are major incidents and your route home is much longer than usual, you should get a more visible notification.

Google Now, despite it's abandonware status, solves this use case by telling me when my commute has an incident.

Thanks for the tip, I will check it out. From a quick read, it still sounds like the information is a pull (from my perspective, so I'll have to keep checking it), rather than the app notifying me when traffic is horrible?

Forget the trip times. Apple maps routinely failed to work correctly, often sending me in circles and telling me to take streets that didn't exist (walking paths, etc).

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 have a similar issue with my head unit. It will stop whatever music I'm currently listening to and start pandora. It's obnoxious enough that I just don't have pandora installed on my phone anymore.

I can not second these findings for European cities I regularly drive in myself: Berlin, Milan, Paris, London and Rome.

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.

The one thing Google Maps is missing for me over the other two is speed limits. It's so handy to have an alert go off especially in larger cities where they can fluctuate frequently.

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.

That's something that concerns me. You're not supposed to use these things as a driving aid. You should be paying attention to the road ahead, not relying on your phone to tell you how fast you should be driving. It's bad enough with people driving cars that do more and more stuff for you. Pilots are required to do a certain number of manual operations to make sure they are still able to do it. It's worrying to think about what kind of people are driving around on the roads.

In my experience, the number of signs indicating the speed limit is inversely related to the number of law enforcement officers enforcing that limit.

I think the conclusion in the article is too strong given the experiments and the data. Estimating average error over a small number trips is misleading. We don't know how the error distribution varies with time, destination, departure location, traffic conditions, etc... Also the 120 trips are definitely biased to the usual routes the author and his wife take regularly. It doesn't seem reasonable to draw general conclusions from what is presented in this article.

Do you know a better benchmark?

You could certainly come up with something better than this. At the very least for such a comparison to be generalizable, the raw data should be a set of timed routes, app estimates, and traffic/weather conditions. Given this information, you can extract similar routes and do an apples-to-apples comparison. If you want to extract general facts, you can group routes by certain attributes that you care about (e.g. high traffic areas, time of day, etc...) and do an error analysis.

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.

I used Apple Maps a couple of times and it did its job well. The UI is pleasant and simple to use and the directions are clear and accurate.

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.

The other advantage of Google Maps is that it's search is much better at finding the landmark or point of interest you want to get to. Apple Maps Search is really hit and miss.

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.

Anecdataly, Google, despite being repeatedly told, routes people incorrectly to my house. The Street is a mews that shares part of its name with a street 1 over. The amount of deliveries that have "failed" because people blindly trust Google is just ridiculous.

I have no opinion on Apple Maps, as I haven't owned an iPhone since before it was available. However this, anecdotally, is definitely not my experience with Waze. Unless an accident happens (or additional traffic for some other random reason) on the route while I am on it, it is almost always perfect in its prediction. There are a few routes for me to take to and from work, and I check Waze every trip for which one I am going to take. I have learned to never argue with the route it takes me. Every time I take the 'Google' route instead of what Waze wants, I regret it because I end up sitting in an extra 10-15 minutes of traffic. Its also nice to be rerouted off of a road if an accident happens part way into the commute. I happen to be one of the fans of moving instead of sitting in traffic though, so that could also contribute. Its probably also worth noting, its 45-65 minutes each way, depending on start times. Perhaps the distance / time affects mine over the author. I might actually start a table of what it does for me now though, could be interesting to see.

Recently switched from Android to iOS, and I haven't felt the need to install google maps. Apple Maps does everything I need it to. The navigation feels the same but I find the turn-by-turn instructions better on apple maps. I was on the bandwagon when we were making fun of apple maps for telling people to drive out into the middle of the ocean, so it seems to have come a long way since

I’ve been burned by Apple maps too many times. I just use google maps now.

Google Maps has been steering me wrong quite often the past 6 months, including instances where it has me pass the landmark or business that I am driving to, turn into a private residential neighborhood, go two to three blocks in, and say "you've arrived at your destination".

Tempted to try Apple Maps again now that it's improved since launch.

Every time I take a Lyft to the main Kaiser Permanente offices here in SF and the driver uses Lyft's built-in mapping (powered by Google Maps), the directions always instruct them to go past the desired street and turn into the alley behind the building. I cannot figure out why it does this, and I can't figure out how to complain about this.

I'm unsure if the native Google Maps app does this too (I uninstalled it years ago so I can't test myself).

Its funny, Google Maps has been doing almost the opposite for me -- always insisting that I go in the main entrance to a property, and continuing to route me after I've parked at the location and exited my car. For example, I was trying to get to a shop at an intersection where going in from the minor street would have been easy. Instead it, it wanted me to make 3 turns to go in on the main street.

And not only the main entrance: google maps will route me so that I always end up driving along the side of the road the destination is on.

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...

Could it in any way be related to recent gps disruption in the Western US? I am certain it has happened to me a couple times where the gps could not understand I was already on the interstate, and then the issue disappeared with no intervention the next day.

I have been using Waze for a couple of years and I turn it on for the same route to get my daughter to school in the morning and back home through traffic.

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

This is great.

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?

You can leave it running in the background to do this while routing with Google Maps in the foreground, it'll call out speed traps and hazards and police with it's voice in the background

But waze doesn't point out police by itself, waze user did that when they're driving. And I really don't want the drivers in the cars around me doing that...

+++Waze has better traffic detection and alternate routing than GM and AM, in my opinion, which is the reason I use it over them.

--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.

The problem with Waze is a horrible UI. In frequent short commutes (in city basically) I need good UI to see road state, see important events, see comments for chosen important events, then plan a route and pick one out of several, when driving I want to clearly see junctions, I want to clearly see lane guidance etc. - most of these Waze fails. Google is about the same, only different. Much much better interface is in Yandex navigator made by russians, but due to war with them I can't really use it and have to suffer with W/G. And Apple is unavailable outside of their garden so I don't even consider it. Sygic doesn't have big adoption for traffic coverage, so is used offline only.

Great job, Jonathan! Can't agree more about Waze's creative (and overly optimistic!) guidance and Google's general all-roundedness. Tell y'all a story, but take it with a bunch of salt because I generally resist updating apps and even OS until they stop working, for all the UI "improvements".

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.

When I did analysis of hundreds of millions of predictions to analyze our prediction algorithm for trucks, I had a couple of metrics I would look at:

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.

> RMSE: root mean square error. Most important one. Being 5 minutes off consistently is better than 30 minutes occasionally.

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.

Does anyone outside the US and maybe the UK find any maps comparable to Google Maps? They are (Waze, Apple Maps, OpenStreet Maps) a step behind Google Maps, maybe with only exception being Yandex Maps.

Waze has more up-to-date maps than Google Maps in Chile, at least in my experience.

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