Waze Fail (Closure, Routing, Delay ETA)

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Waze Fail (Closure, Routing, Delay ETA)

Postby adamgirard » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:44 pm

I had my single worst experience with Waze yesterday after over a year of daily use. This post is long so to skip to the point look at the numbered points below.

I live in Albany and work 30 miles north in Saratoga Springs. The drive usually takes about 40 minutes on the only N-S interstate in the area, I-87. The only other major N-S route is State Route 9 which has heavy traffic and really isn't much of a better option most times (although it was the only option yesterday).

Just before noon a charter bus collided with a car and rolled over on the southbound side. There was one death in the car and some other injuries, obviously there was a lot of emergency activity and the interstate was at first reduced to one lane. Around 1 or 2pm police completely closed the southbound lanes between exits 10 and 9. Message boards along the highway stated this.

Around 2:30 I checked the live map and saw the delay, with several miles of 3-5mph speeds. I left around 2:45 and when Waze showed the alerts on the route and showed me going through a 10 minute delay, arriving home at 3:35 I thought that was reasonable, since Waze is supposed to select the fastest route and the reports were already in the client.

Waze told me to stay on the highway, which I did. That's when my nightmare began. I was delayed by over TWO HOURS. Waze kept telling me my ETA had changed to 5-10 minutes slower, with several users stuck ahead of me. After several hours, I finally got to the exit where police were making all cars get off and selected that the interstate was closed past that exit for several hours. It then routed me on the off-ramp and straight back onto the (closed) highway. I then selected that that on-ramp was also closed, thinking that would fix it. Nope, Waze then told me to do a U-turn and still get on the ramp. No matter how many times I tried to tell the client it was closed it continued to route me through it.

I ended up getting home at 6:05pm, a full 3.5 hours after leaving work and 2.5 hours after Waze's original ETA.

So here's my point.

1. Waze did a terrible job with the original ETA, considering how many reports were available to the client and the fact that the highway was closed (although not reported in the client by users)

2. Waze did a terrible job of updating just how bad the delay was. 5 minute incriments when there were several users ahead going 0mph for half an hour just doesn't cut it.

3. The closure function failed miserably. I closed two roads and it really made no difference whatsoever.


I hope Waze can fix these issues because after this, while I still would have had a serious delay in getting home, I spent at least an extra hour in traffic because I followed Waze. "Outsmarting traffic, together"? Not the case this time and it definitely puts a huge doubt in my mind that Waze selects the best route in these situations.
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Re: Waze Fail (Closure, Routing, Delay ETA)

Postby adamgirard » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:03 pm

Perfect, really the point of my post was awareness. I know it's a work in progress so at least some higher-ups know of the issue.
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Re: Waze Fail (Closure, Routing, Delay ETA)

Postby adamgirard » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:43 pm

CBenson wrote:I agree with Alan that more closure options must be made available and that in the current implementation, it isn't going to be successful. However, I thought that a closure of a major road (or any road) submitted by a single Wazer would be sufficient to cause a reroute for that Wazer. I thought it just wasn't sufficient to force a reroute for other Wazers.

The closure interface is cumbersome making it somewhat ineffective. Was this the exit that you eventually took? Its it possible that you indicated that freeway was closed so Waze eliminated this segment from your route and wanted to skip it by taking the ramps. Then you indicated that this segment of the ramp was closed so waze wanted to do the U turn and use this segment? I'm not in anyway trying assert this was not a waze failure, just seeing if we can provide some more details to Waze to show the deficiencies of the current interface.

One other question - was the interstate highlighted in dark red when you got on it and Waze showed you going through with a 10 minute delay?



You are correct with the segments that you highlighted except the accident was on the other side of the highway, but yeah that's exactly what happened. I closed those two segments but it wouldn't allow me to close that odd third way onto the ramp and kept telling me to pull a U turn and get on the ramp.

As for your second question, the interstate was that dark grey/black on the live map and on the client it was either red or dark red, I can't remember exactly but it was showing speeds in the single numbers and said it would be a 10 minute delay. Honestly, that's why I stayed on the highway even though I knew of the delay. I said to myself "well Waze considered the delay and decided it was still the fastest way home, the alternates must be backed up even worse" but both Waze and therefore my assumption were badly wrong.
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Re: Waze Fail (Closure, Routing, Delay ETA)

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:53 pm

1. A closure, especially of a major road, cannot be accomplished by a single Wazer. At this time, it appears the threshold is set perhaps too high for high-value roadways. Also, the method for reporting the closure is such that once you're on the segment which should be closed, it's too late to close it. Beta testers informed Waze that more closure options must be made available, and that in the current implementation, it isn't going to be successful.

2. Waze has been notified that the slow traffic indicators do not impact re-routing to different routes significantly enough yet. With a road showing red or dark red, it needs to find alternate routes more efficiently.
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Re: Waze Fail (Closure, Routing, Delay ETA)

Postby banished » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:07 am

Just ran into the same issue myself a couple of days ago. Which of the 3 routes would you pick?

IMG_1650.jpg
IMG_1650.jpg (46.36 KiB) Viewed 973 times


If you said no. 2, you are correct. It took me two hours to get home via that route, but routes 1 and 3 were not options because the road was closed (a barge ran into the bridge), so there were no Wazers to report anything. I only knew not to go that way because of local radio announcements. This is where local DOTs could play a role.

So, yes, this was an outright routing fail.
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Re: Waze Fail (Closure, Routing, Delay ETA)

Postby CBenson » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:57 pm

I agree with Alan that more closure options must be made available and that in the current implementation, it isn't going to be successful. However, I thought that a closure of a major road (or any road) submitted by a single Wazer would be sufficient to cause a reroute for that Wazer. I thought it just wasn't sufficient to force a reroute for other Wazers.

The closure interface is cumbersome making it somewhat ineffective. Was this the exit that you eventually took? Its it possible that you indicated that freeway was closed so Waze eliminated this segment from your route and wanted to skip it by taking the ramps. Then you indicated that this segment of the ramp was closed so waze wanted to do the U turn and use this segment? I'm not in anyway trying assert this was not a waze failure, just seeing if we can provide some more details to Waze to show the deficiencies of the current interface.

One other question - was the interstate highlighted in dark red when you got on it and Waze showed you going through with a 10 minute delay?
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Re: Waze Fail (Closure, Routing, Delay ETA)

Postby CBenson » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:43 pm

I'd raise general road closure discussion questions in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=41598
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Re: Waze Fail (Closure, Routing, Delay ETA)

Postby orbitc » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:38 pm

I have mark a road with a closure (construction - long term). Waze marked with red dotted line, by the end of the day the closure is gone. It didn't make any see to me that the long term didn't even lasted whole day.
Any ideas?
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