Introducing Waze, A User Generated Navigation App For iPhone

Nowadays, new cars most likely come with navigation system, and if you don’t have one in your car, it’s most likely you have purchased a portable one in electronic store.  Even if you haven’t had a portable navigation system, you could always download a free one as app on your smartphone.  Of course, you might be out of luck if your smartphone doesn’t support such kind of apps or you don’t own a smartphone.  I say, it’s likely that you have one, and if you don’t have one now, I think you will have one sooner than later.

Anyhow, yesterday I found myself fumbling for direction.  Unfortunately, my car had an older navigation system and I had refused to update the CD which came with it so new locations could be updated.  The place I went to could not be found as my car navigation was unable to locate the address, and so I had to resort to an app on iPhone.  I used an auxiliary cable so the sounds from my iPhone and its apps could pass through my cars’ speakers.  At first, I had no idea which navigation app I would use on iPhone.  There were too many of them, but I made a wise choice and found Waze.

Waze is an easy navigation app for iPhone.  It is relying on user generated alerts to notify you of traffic jam, police, accident, hazard and more.  I’m not one hundred percent sure how it is working exactly, because I’m so brand new to it.  Nonetheless, I found out yesterday that I was able to use it to travel to my destination safe and sound, because the instruction gave off by a voice from Waze was clear and precise.  I didn’t even have to learn how to use the darn app, because it was so easy to just use it.

You have to allow Waze to read your current location so it could know where you at right away.  All you have to do next is to tap onto a vehicle icon on the bottom left of your iPhone screen to pull up the Menu window, tap on Navigate icon, and enter the address or the name of the place that you want to travel to.  A voice will speak through your iPhone, and you will be able to navigate using its instruction.

Inside Menu, you can click on Reports to read what are happening near you.  Perhaps there are traffic jam or car accident nearby, and so you should make a detour.  The cool thing is that you can also track where the police are.  All these reports are pouring in through people like you, because they are using Waze too.  Come to think of it though, I don’t think all reports will be accurate, because humans tend to make mistakes.  And so, I don’t think Waze will always be one hundred percent accurate on everything.  Nonetheless, you can’t just disregard the bulk of things that matter about Waze for there is little chance of inaccuracy.

Waze makes it easy for you to report something odd that is happening on your road or street or highway.  By clicking on the exclamation mark icon on the bottom right of your iPhone screen, you can then tap on an icon that is relating to your situation.  For an example, if you see police hide nearby you, click on the Police icon to report that you have seen police in your area.  You can label the police as Visible or Hidden, and you can even take a picture of the police to send it onto Waze, I think.

What Waze needs is Siri.  Without Siri or voice control, it’s rather dangerous to use Waze.  Obviously, this can apply to all navigation apps on smartphone.  This is why people keep encourage smartphone users not to texting while driving, and so by using navigation app and meddling with Waze at the same time can be as dangerous as texting.  I advise people not to meddling with Waze while driving.

In conclusion, I think Waze is a good app.  The best feature of Waze is that it’s free to download and use.  What cool about Waze is that it allows users to report traffic incidents and so on, but I think what make Waze cool can also make it a dangerous app to use while driving.  Can we say Driving Under Waze or DUW?  Of course, Waze won’t be the only app that is facing this sort of criticism, because any other navigation app without voice control will have to be categorized as dangerous to use while driving.  Waze also branches into popular social elements such as allowing users to share traffic incidents on Twitter and Facebook.  I like Waze, but I do think it needs voice control.  Its main function works out great, and I’m talking about its accuracy in regarding to navigation.

China’s Driverless Car Doesn’t Need GPS

If the facts are corrected, then China is now officially competing against Google in designing and producing driverless cars.  Without using GPS, China’s driverless car navigated China’s expressway which links Changsha and Wuhan successfully.  It’s not clear just yet, but it seems that China’s driverless car relies on artificial intelligence since the computer brains in the trunk of China’s driverless car decides everything.  It was smart enough to avoid obstacles and other cars by using its sensors and lasers.

According to China Daily, China’s driverless car was tested in difficult conditions such as fog and thundershower and unclear lane markings.  The test shown that China’s driverless car overtook human drivers 67 times and was able to cope with humans’ driving behaviors such as abrupt lane changes.  Perhaps, adding GPS capability to China’s driverless car will make it one of the first driverless cars to be smart and safe at the same time?

Source:  http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2011-08/03/content_13037633.htm