Request: improve routing of Waze

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Request: improve routing of Waze

Postby rarebyte » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:55 pm

Introduce "road segment access level" in editor and "driver profile" in Waze app to improve routing.... this is after looking through the requests in the google docs waze document an extension/detailed proposal for item #207 "Implement routing for vehicle type-based navigation"

One annoyance of GPS systems (in general) is that they sometimes guide you through streets where you don't want to be: you get there if you keep following the GPS but it's using very small roads that save you maybe 50 meter and where a perfectly nice and good replacement road exists. All GPS'es have this, including Waze. But for Waze I can think of following very simple and elegant way to improve this.

Advantage:
- Better routing than most other GPS systems, which would be hard to replicate without a community maintaining the maps. This is a mote advantage (not moot)
- More natural way of maintaining whether a road can be used for driving on.
- Safety: vehicles would be routed where as appropriate as possible. No trucks on small roads, no cars on pedestrian-only roads, ...

Disadvantages:
- 1 more field to maintain in editor.

Problems that this proposal would solve:
a) In my neighbourhood there's a small farm road that is hardened for the first 100 meters, afterwards depending on the season it's undrivable by car. Yet it is a shortcut between two parallel roads, and a lot of GPS systems use this shortcut, even for trucks. The local farmer "rescues" about 20 trucks each year. We solved this in Waze by detaching the road, which is actually bad form but it helps Waze to 100% avoid the road (and maybe someone in the future will reattach it because he doesn't know better).
b) Intersection shortcuts. In my area there a North-South/East-West intersection with a lights that has a "maintenance" road going from the South section to the East section. The distance is a little bit shorter and the shortcut bypasses the lights. However this road is actually a delivery road for the shops on the main road and some hours of a day a supply truck will be parked in the middle of the road that you can't pass. If you're lucky it's a shortcut, if you're unlucky you have to back out. I sometimes drive on the road as I can estimate when it will be empty (evenings e.g.) but I would never advise non-local friends to take that road.
c) In Europe/Belgium in the past there were a lot of dirt roads for tractors to get to their meadows. Lately a lot of those have been hardened/asphalted and even given proper street names. Waze uses these to route people through although most of them are only big enough for a single car, if someone comes from the other side it's a whole 'dance' to pass each other. And usually there's a "normal" road that is only minimally longer in distance.
d) As in ticket #209 in the waze google doc. Sometimes when a destination is 50m away of a paved route, Waze will guide you through a lot of unpaved roads to get at the destination, while a little "detour" would have been much easier and a more natural routing.

Every road segment you can classify its "access level" for: what type of vehicle can use the road segment. Assume following is introduced:

- BIG_TRUCK: in the US the supertrucks, in Europe probably trucks with double sections/trailers.
- TRUCK: a regular truck
- NICE_CAR: somewhere where as local you would advise a non-local friend to drive on. easily accessible road, no small short cut road, ...
- CAR: accessible by car
- PEDESTRIAN: someone on foot. Not really what Waze is for, but consider this kind of sentinel... In Europe in some cities you can end up on roads where you're not allowed to drive and these could be indicated as pedestrian.

Going from big to small. The idea would be that the lower ones can drive on the higher ones, but not the other way around... If I'm a car, I can drive on a road accessible for trucks; trucks can drive on big_truck roads. Pedestrian would be there as sentinel to indicate roads you can't access by car.

Most road segments have a clear access level, only a few will be problematic to classify. The classification is a little more granular than would be really required but this is to be able to classify all roads without having to resort to other/new tricks. E.g. if a road is accessible for a nice car it would in most cases also be accessible for a truck. However consider a paved road in the mountains with a lot of sharp Z turns, it might still be a nice car road, but you might not want to drive there with a truck.
In most cases paved roads will get TRUCK level access (which would include NICE_CAR access then), and the very small roads would get CAR access.

In the maps, when a new road is created if it's a highway the default will be SUPER_TRUCK, any paved road will get CAR access by default. This can still be tweaked.

Waze should get a new option field "Driver profile", which would be "Big truck", "Truck", "Nice car", "Car". The default in Waze upon installation would be "Nice car". The routing would take into account your driver profile with the access level of the roads. Routing should always be possible between 2 addresses, e.g. if your driver profile is "Nice car" but your destination is a crappy dirt road you still want to get routed there, but Waze should try to route using roads that are higher or equal to your profile unless not otherwise possible. This would be similar to a "prefer highway" option where highways would be preferred, Waze can route anywhere but it should give big preference based on the access level of the roads. If I have "Nice Car" profile I don't want to be routed on very small roads unless there's no other way around it.

When you select a destination the routes should have an indication of whether they stay completely in your driver profile... This could be done by coloring the good routes a very light green e.g. and providing a percentage of driver profile requirements.... 100% all on roads for your profile, 95% .... 5% of the route on roads that are less than your profile.

As extra a warning could be implemented... as an option that you can either switch "Off", "Loose", "Strict". Off: no audible warning. "Strict": audible warning when you start driving on a road segment that is below your driver profile, or when the next section of the route is below your driver profile. "Loose", you don't get warning if you stay within your vehicle type, but you would get warnings if you stray to far: big trucks don't get warnings when they drive on truck roads, but they do get warnings when driving on NICE_CAR roads. NICE_CARs don't get warnings when driving on CAR roads, but they would get warnings on pedestrian roads.

How it would solve the problems above:
a) I would put the farm road as pedestrian. Waze wold not use it anymore for routing... this would be a gray area, it could also be classified as "CAR", but definitely not as "NICE_CAR"
b) the shortcut road could be put as CAR... if you drive as NICE_CAR you would not use it anymore if it would not be the end destination/
c) These kind of roads would be classified as CAR, NICE_CAR profiles would not drive there anymore
d) The dirt roads would be classified as CAR probably... as NICE_CAR you would get a little detour but stay mostly on the paved routes.

Implementation can be done in several parts"
- Implement the new field in the maps, and fill them with default
- Implement driver profile in app
- Implement the changed routing; fallback: ignore the new field in routing to get old situation back.

Regards,
Sven
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Re: Request: improve routing of Waze

Postby Boghog1 » Tue May 05, 2015 7:48 pm

I would like to add that if you are towing a trailer even if it is a small one there are certain parkways at least in CT and NY that you cannot drive on such as the saw mill parkway
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Re: Request: improve routing of Waze

Postby rarebyte » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:15 am

Bumping this one... as I've been hit by it again recently. And I still think it would improve waze a lot. It's also a feature not present in any other GPS system I'm aware of.

My new "hit" ... street "Werf, Essen, Belgium" (you can look it up in google maps)... street starts out as a 2-way residential road, halfway it turns into a 1 lane paved road (mainly for farmers to get to their meadows). Where it's 1 lane you can just drive on it with a car (at slow speed) but since the road is just the width of 1 car and there are fences and ditches along both sides, if you meet another car halfway you have a problem (1 has to backup all the way).
The 1 lane entry of the road has a sign "local people and bikes only", so it is legal to drive there with a car if you need to be there, but not really recommended.
Every local person uses the 2way end to get to a house in the street, even though it's usually a small detour.

I live closer to the small end, so when I used waze it tried to get me to drive through the small end.

With my feature request/change above, we could put the 2way section of the street to "TRUCK" or "NICE_CAR"; and the 1 lane part as "CAR". If someone would put his profile as NICE_CAR it would normally pick the right side to the enter the street.
Right now there's also no nice way to edit the map to make waze pick the right way.
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Re: Request: improve routing of Waze

Postby rarebyte » Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:56 am

Update proposal… been thinking on it for a longer time, still think it’s a good idea. But now with some extra’s.

This is a proposal is to make routing of Waze better. One gripe I have with Waze and with all other GPS systems I know: they do get you where you want to be, but they may also get you on roads you don't really want to drive on getting there. And in most of those cases there is an alternative route on only "good" roads which is only minimally longer.
So, introduce "road segment access level" in editor and "driver profile" in Waze app to improve routing.... this is after looking through the requests in the google docs waze document an extension/detailed proposal for item #207 "Implement routing for vehicle type-based navigation", and would allow some other proposals like: http://waze.uservoice.com/forums/59223- ... ute-option , http://waze.uservoice.com/forums/59223- ... -available , …
Advantage for Waze:
- Better routing than most other GPS systems, which would be hard to replicate without a community maintaining the maps. This is a mote advantage (not moot)
- More natural way of maintaining whether a road can be used for driving on. Instead of detaching roads in the editor, …
- Safety: vehicles would be routed where as appropriate as possible. No trucks on small roads, no cars on pedestrian-only roads, ...

Disadvantages:
- 1 more field to maintain in editor. But people would be more than willing to maintain it I think.

Problems that this proposal would solve:
a) In my neighbourhood there's a small farm road that is hardened for the first 100 meters, afterwards depending on the season it's undrivable by car. Yet it is a shortcut between two parallel roads, and a lot of GPS systems use this shortcut, even for trucks. The local farmer "rescues" about 20 trucks each year. We solved this in Waze by detaching the road, which is actually bad form but it helps Waze to 100% avoid the road (and maybe someone in the future will reattach it because he doesn't know better).
b) Intersection shortcuts. In my area there a North-South/East-West intersection with a lights that has a "maintenance" road going from the South section to the East section. The distance is a little bit shorter and the shortcut bypasses the lights. However this road is actually a delivery road for the shops on the main road and some hours of a day a supply truck will be parked in the middle of the road that you can't pass. If you're lucky it's a shortcut, if you're unlucky you have to back out. I sometimes drive on the road as I can estimate when it will be empty (evenings e.g.) but I would never advise non-local friends to take that road.
c) In Europe/Belgium in the past there were a lot of dirt roads for tractors to get to their meadows. Lately a lot of those have been hardened/asphalted and even given proper street names. Waze uses these to route people through although most of them are only big enough for a single car, if someone comes from the other side it's a whole 'dance' to pass each other. And usually there's a "normal" road that is only minimally longer in distance.
d) As in ticket #209 in the waze google doc. Sometimes when a destination is 50m away of a paved route, Waze will guide you through a lot of unpaved roads to get at the destination, while a little "detour" would have been much easier and a more natural routing.

Every road segment you can classify its "access level" for: what type of vehicle can use the road segment. Assume following is introduced:

- TRUCK_BIG: in the US the supertrucks, in Europe they will also start appearing.
- TRUCK_WITH_CONTAINER: a truck with 1 or 2 containers
- TRUCK_FLATBED: a truck with a flat bed trailer (no problems in height). If it’s loaded high they can use truck with container.
- CAR_WITH_RV: Car with RV or trailer
- NICE_CAR: somewhere where as local you would advise a non-local friend to drive on. easily accessible road, no small short cut roads, ...
- CAR: accessible by car
- MOTOR: special here would be that as of this class and below data is not used for traffic jams e.g.
- BICYCLE: some roads are only for bikes. Not used for routing
- PEDESTRIAN: someone on foot. Not really what Waze is for, but consider this kind of sentinel... In Europe in some cities you can end up on roads where you're not allowed to drive and these could be indicated as pedestrian.

Going from big to small. The idea would be that the lower ones can drive on the higher ones, but not the other way around... If I'm a car, I can drive on a road accessible for trucks; trucks can drive on big_truck roads. Pedestrian/bicycle would be there as sentinels to indicate roads you can't access by car.

Most road segments have a clear access level, only a few will be problematic to classify. The classification is a little more granular than would be really required but this is to be able to classify all roads without having to resort to other/new tricks. E.g. if a road is accessible for a nice car it would in most cases also be accessible for a truck. However consider a paved road in the mountains with a lot of sharp Z turns, it might still be a nice car road, but you might not want to drive there with a truck.
In most cases paved roads will get TRUCK level access (which would include NICE_CAR access then), and the very small roads would get CAR access.

In the maps, when a new road is created if it's a highway the default will be TRUCK_BIG, any paved road will get CAR access by default. This can still be tweaked.

Waze should get a new option field "Driver profile", which would be "Big truck", "Truck with container", “Truck with flatbed”, "Nice car", "Car", “Motor”: maybe with some icons. The default in Waze upon installation would be "Nice car". The routing would take into account your driver profile with the access level of the roads. Routing should always be possible between 2 addresses, e.g. if your driver profile is "Nice car" but your destination is a crappy dirt road you still want to get routed there, but Waze should try to route using roads that are higher or equal to your profile unless not otherwise possible. This would be similar to a "prefer highway" option where highways would be preferred, Waze can route anywhere but it should give big preference based on the access level of the roads. If I have "Nice Car" profile I don't want to be routed on very small roads unless there's no other way around it.
An easy way to implement routing would be to route from current location to the nearest road that fits your profile. Route from the destination to the nearest road that fits your profile, and then route between those 2 points using roads that fit the profile.
When you select a destination the routes should have an indication of whether they stay completely in your driver profile... This could be done by coloring the good routes a very light green e.g. and providing a percentage of driver profile requirements.... 100% all on roads for your profile, 95% .... 5% of the route on roads that are less than your profile.
As extra a warning could be implemented... as an option that you can either switch "Off", "Loose", "Strict". Off: no audible warning. "Strict": audible warning when you start driving on a road segment that is below your driver profile, or when the next section of the route is below your driver profile. "Loose", you don't get a warning if you stay within your vehicle type, but you would get warnings if you stray too far: big trucks don't get warnings when they drive on truck roads, but they do get warnings when driving on NICE_CAR roads. NICE_CARs don't get warnings when driving on CAR roads, but they would get warnings on pedestrian/bicycle roads.

How it would solve the problems above:
a) I would put the farm road as pedestrian (or bicycle). Waze wold not use it anymore for routing... this would be a gray area, it could also be classified as "CAR", but definitely not as "NICE_CAR"
b) the shortcut road could be put as CAR... if you drive as NICE_CAR you would not use it anymore if it would not be the end destination.
c) These kind of roads would be classified as CAR, NICE_CAR profiles would not drive there anymore
d) The dirt roads would be classified as CAR probably... as NICE_CAR you would get a little detour but stay mostly on the paved routes.

Implementation can be done in several parts:
- Implement the new field in the maps, and fill them with default
- Implement driver profile in app
- Implement the changed routing; fallback: ignore the new field in routing to get old situation back.

Regards,
Sven
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Re: Request: improve routing of Waze

Postby Stoatwblr » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:05 pm

The app needs to be able to indicate:

height/width/length/mass restrictions - the current "restrictions" might make sense for the USA but they don't for most of the rest of the world. What's a HOV, for instance?

unsealed ("gravel/metalled") road and unformed roads (farm tracks, etc) - not just "dirtroad/4x4trail" - there is quite a difference between a macadam road surface and a dirt road.

Permanent hazards such as pedestrian crossings (uncontrolled and controlled) and narrow roads (wide enough for single file traffic ONLY, with passing spots usable via driver cooperation, such as UK country lanes and various residential roads in UK towns)

Other permanent hazards such as Chicanes, traffic humps (speed ramps and various other names), street cobbling and choke points are invariably introduced for traffic control purposes and as such their presence should mean that such roads are given extremely low routing priority - the alternative for local governments is to start blocking through traffic entirely on such roads and this tactic is being debated around the UK as a way of combatting "antisocial navigation systems" (EDIT: There are several roads in London which have had traffic barriers installed recently to block through traffic, so they've moved from talk to action on the issue.)

School zones, residential zones, snow-cleared roads also need inclusion - Yes, I've run into people who followed GPS in a snowstorm onto a road only passable with chains. That road used to claim 4-5 4wds every time it snowed (steep hill+no chains = demolished vehicle) and since navigation apps became common it's been claiming more victims each time.

Particular attention should be paid to the issue of "rat running" - that is, routing through traffic via neighbourhood streets. This is an issue which raises a LOT of resentment, especially when quiet roads start getting significant spikes in traffic or heavy vehicles passing through.

Such routing should be a last resort during congestion or else traffic apps like Waze are likely to start facing legal action from affected residents or local governments.
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Re: Request: improve routing of Waze

Postby rarebyte » Tue May 30, 2017 8:51 am

From time to time I still have the problem originally described in this thread with Waze. That Waze selects routes that you don't really want to be on. This is very similar to what other GPS systems experience and this is where Waze could have a differentiating factor: the short gist of the original request is that I want Waze to only route on roads which are decently accessible; this may not be a problem in the US with their big roads and square logical layout of cities, in Europe there are a lot of roads on the Waze map (especially in the country side) which you only want to drive on if you have no other choice.

The newest version of Waze already can choose between normal car and taxi, further differentiation of vehicle types should not be that hard.
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Re: Request: improve routing of Waze

Postby APettyJ » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:30 pm

In the US this is handled by marking such roads as "Private Road", with the belief that very few if any Wazers would miss being routed down such a street or roadway. Have you thought of doing that?

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