How reliable is Waze as your main 'sat nav'

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Re: How reliable is Waze as your main 'sat nav'

Postby davipt » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:43 pm

As the CM of my country, a perfectionist, a Geocacher and a car aficionado (grown up in the middle of cars, including amateur rally races, as my father was a mechanical), so I tend to take Waze to (at least) two extremes:

- from the "rally" experience, I try to ensure that Waze gives me the simplest and most correct instructions in such a way that one could do the trip without looking at the device. My device is on the bottom of the dashboard and I rarely look at it. Everywhere I go I report every single thing that can be fixed - street names, double instructions, missing instructions, roundabouts that can say straight/left/right instead of nth, etc. - so I can then go home and fix them. (psstt don't tell anyone, but having automatic gear frees up a hand to write down some cryptic and iOS auto-expanded user reports. So yes after two or three trips through a certain route I know people can fully trust waze. And then I try to change my daily route a little bit every day so I can go through different streets and capture some more stuff to fix.

- from the geocaching side, I do usually push the luck and tell waze to route me to the cache coordinate and just go, wherever it will take me. It's been fun because it either gives me points nearer to the cache than the owner knew, or puts me into mud roads that I can "pave" so other geo-wazers can later use to reach the cache. (my rule of thumb is that 4x4 trails are only allowed if a regular car can drive it most of the year, any pure 4x4 trail that requires a real 4x4 (instead of those pseudo offroads like the nissan qashqai) is usually deleted from the map to avoid people stranding themselves.


From the search perspective I don't use waze^wbing at all. I drive either to my geocache points, or to foursquare. Maybe more because as a SU I can also fix the foursquare POIs. And do a lot of routing based on the map's long-press-on-segment, hence why I also make sure the right landmarks exist so people can locate themselves on the map with the help of those landmarks and the city names.
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Re: How reliable is Waze as your main 'sat nav'

Postby davipt » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:46 pm

timbucks wrote:My only bug bear with Waze is its definition of fastest route.


I have a feeling something is quite wrong with the "fastest route" calculation. For at least the last six month I've switched to "shortest route" because with fastest route I get routes that are nonsense to me. I've been optimizing my way home-work a lot so I can have three free alternatives (plus one paid freeway), and with toll-avoidance and shortest they are all three there, ordered by the least accidents/traffic. If I pick "fastest", I usually get only one alternative, and the wrong one. And also because when the routes do match, I've also noticed that the fastest is usually not really the fastest, I've personally just given up from that option. Forget the naming, try the "shortest" option and tell us how it goes
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Re: How reliable is Waze as your main 'sat nav'

Postby harling » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:00 am

ncc1701v wrote:I use it primarily for traffic avoidance. There are quirks that can be trouble, for example taking you around two sides of a triangle - a couple of weeks ago it did that to me and gave me a vicious left turn to make. I had people honking at me from both directions. So it's best if you take the route Waze gives you (it really is good at traffic avoidance) but look at the details, smoothing out some of the microfeatures.

Properly-set turn restrictions should eliminate those. (Be sure to report when & where these happen, even if you plan to fix them yourself.)

    "I don't use a 'sat nav' every day... but when I do, I use Waze."
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Re: How reliable is Waze as your main 'sat nav'

Postby iainhouse » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:28 pm

Could be related to Waze preferring higher road types over longer journeys (athough I don't know how long Timbucks' delivery routes are). I have an 8 mile drive home from work which can be routed nearly all the way on Major Highways. At the same point every night, I turn left and follow a route that's entirely Primary Street: after one attempt to make me turn back towards my original route plus two orders to turn round at roundabouts, it will re-calculate for the new route, which then turns out to be several minutes shorter than the original.
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How reliable is Waze as your main 'sat nav'

Postby kuduboet » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:22 pm

It all depends where you are and how active the local community and editors are. I can tell you there is a group of us in North East Ohio working hard to ensure that Waze maps are every bit as good or better than Google Maps or other Sat Nav solutions. The waypoint finding is a shortcoming, and with the loss of the Google API, it is worse as it now relies heavily on Bing. If you have a jailbroken iPhone there is an app that allows you to search for waypoints in Google maps and then navigate through Waze. I use Waze almost exclusively for many of the reasons already mentioned above.
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Re: How reliable is Waze as your main 'sat nav'

Postby MeX_DK » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:37 pm

The only real thing i miss to make this my main and primary GPS app on my phones are:

1 - Offline option, either a full offline map, or caching like Google Maps
2 - Option to declare bridge height or weight restrictions for various vehicles...
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Re: How reliable is Waze as your main 'sat nav'

Postby ncc1701v » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:54 pm

I use it primarily for traffic avoidance. There are quirks that can be trouble, for example taking you around two sides of a triangle - a couple of weeks ago it did that to me and gave me a vicious left turn to make. I had people honking at me from both directions. So it's best if you take the route Waze gives you (it really is good at traffic avoidance) but look at the details, smoothing out some of the microfeatures.
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Re: How reliable is Waze as your main 'sat nav'

Postby Ruby799 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:26 pm

My feeling is that Waze is great at efficient routing using real time traffic info. If I know where I want to go, Waze is awesome at getting me there.

However it's no where near as good as Google maps at searching for locations. In fact it really sucks at locating waypoints either by name (may take you to the city center instead of an actual store location) or even messes up navigating to a specific street address. (It uses Bing to get the Lat/Long and then routes you to the nearest street even if it's a freeway or a completely different and wrong street. This is especially true if the destination is set back from the desired street and closer to some adjacent street.

So overall Waze is a mixed bag. I prefer my Garmin or Google maps if I'm going to a new location and absolute fastest time isn't as critical as is getting there reliably. However for finding the currently best way to reach a familar familiar destination in real time, Waze wins hands down.
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Re: How reliable is Waze as your main 'sat nav'

Postby steveningelbrecht » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:55 pm

It indeed depends on the usability of the map and how active the local community is in updating and finetuning the map, i guess.
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Re: How reliable is Waze as your main 'sat nav'

Postby svx-biker » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:25 am

It all depends on the area and the local community editing there. That's the same as with EVERY navigation system. However, some big advantages are:

1. Same maps online and on the client
2. real-time traffic info
3. Most current maps (depending on the editors)

Point 1 is quite important and that is what helps me prepare the routes. As with every navigation I usually don't "just drive on" and blindly trust the voice. Especially when I've never been there I usually check the road online - if possible even with more than one provider.

Then finally on the road you always have to consider deviations, weather, blocked roads, etc. The navi is just a tool to HELP but you NEVER want to have too much confidence in it.
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