WAZE - worse than before?

If you use WAZE as a traffic/map app then I’d like your opinion, please.

I think it recently (past few months) got worse at predicting arrival time. It used to give an arrival time and come heck or high water I’d arrive at that time. I could crawl at a snail’s pace through rush hour city traffic and still arrive at that time because it had accurately accounted for traffic. I could speed (80mph+) along an interstate marked for 55mph and I’d still arrive at that time because it had, I presume, over time learned that I tend to speed on the highway and it accurately took that into account. (It claims to be able to “learn” my favorite routes, why wouldn’t it “learn” my other driving habits?)

But now I sit in rush hour city traffic (major US metropolitan area) and watch the arrival time tick up pretty much on a 1-to-1 rate. I’m stuck for a minute, arrival time ticks up a minute. And this isn’t “new” traffic (i.e. an accident that just occurred), it’s the same rush hour city traffic at the same time of day along the same route I always take.

Likewise I zing along the interstate and watch the arrival time drop fairly quickly. It didn’t use to do that.

Anyone else notice this?


I just started a new job and a new commute recently and have only been using Waze for a few weeks, so I can’t compare it to earlier performance, but it’s worked really well for me (and shown me a number of alternate routes to and from work that I would have never imagined). Usually it’s ETA is pretty accurate within a minute or two.

Sometimes I think I know better and take a different turn than the app has recommended. Sometimes I’m right and improve my ETA by a few minutes, usually I break even, and sometimes I have to apologize to Waze and admit I should have listened to it in the first place.

I don’t pay attention to the travel time, so I can’t speak to that. Mostly I use it to see congestion and road hazards, and for that it works pretty well. Sometimes the congestion seems to be going in the wrong direction, so I don’t pay much attention to which was the arrows are pointing anymore.

I am annoyed that I don’t get audio for the majority of red light and speed camera warnings. Often there is a volume dip when the warning should be announced, and I glance at it then. I don’t know if this is a bug, or if by design, but it’s worked like this for a couple of years already.

I would really like it if (a) there was an ad free version [I don’t care if there’s a KFC around the corner], (b) I could turn off the app asking if I’m heading home [I don’t always catch it and then it starts navigating] and © I want Elvis back! :wink:

I think it’s gotten worse. I can’t figure out how to tell it that the hazard it’s squawking about isn’t there any more, for example. I’m finding out about real deal breakers in traffic based on the radio news, and not the app (Greyhound bus overturned, tanker truck spill, etc). it shouldn’t be routing me right through the middle of a SIG alert.

I’ve used it for a few years now, but I’m thinking about looking for another app.

I don’t use Waze, but have some friends that live in larger metropolitan areas that use it frequently. One friend heard that Waze has negotiated with several large cities to help move traffic around to ease overall congestion, instead of just pointing users into less congested areas. As a result, he no longer is getting the fastest route, but just being directed by waze so that overall traffic congestion is reduced in his city. He’s quit using it.

Is not directing people away from more congested routes, to less congested ones, easing overall congestion?

I’ve been using it for a couple of years. It’s still pretty much spot-on, and most days I arrive a minute or two ahead of the initial ETA.

I was always under the impression that features like ETA and the like are dependent on user reports. In fact I’ve reported heavy traffic and seen my ETA instantly update.

I’ve only recently entered the smartphone-owner ranks. I have very few apps. (Well, I suppose a lot of things on the phone are apps, but I’ve only downloaded three or four.) I downloaded WAZE on the advice of a coworker.

I rarely use it. I pretty much know where the tie-ups are going to be. I only turn it on when there’s an unexpected jam. My thoughts:
[ul][li]It’s marginally useful for that purpose.[/li][li]Its usefulness is limited because it’s on a phone, making it problematic to use when driving.[/li]I don’t like that it will occasionally talk to me after I’ve gone to ‘Clear all’ on the phone to close the app.[/ul]

I’ve used Waze for a while and generally have been happy with it, although the last couple of updates have been a pain in the ass. I use it mostly when I’m meeting my gf somewhere so that we can time out our arrivals to coincide.

There’s a big difference between sending just little ol’ you along a less congested corridor and sending tens of thousands of extra drivers along that corridor. When these traffic apps started, they didn’t realize that once they got popular, their own re-routing suggestions would cause problems. Taking this into account results in a different type of routing strategy.

Waze is pretty much entirely crowd-sourced information, so if nobody’s reported the overturned bus or the tanker spill as such, or (unlikely) nobody running Waze has driven by recently, they won’t have any information on it other than there’s some kind of slowdown at that point, if enough people have slowed down in the vicinity.

And they can tell whether it’s still there or not by your responses when it tells you that something’s there- you can give it a thumbs-up, or a “not there”. I imagine they have an algorithm that analyzes the thumbs-up vs. “not there” vs. the time elapsed vs the speed of traffic through the area and determines whether or not to remove the event.

Like anything that relies on data, the more the better, in terms of identifying patterns. Waze is pretty useful in Dallas, but there are thousands of users zipping around all the time, so it has a pretty good handle on how/when traffic builds up, but I imagine if I lived in say… Crockett, Texas, its utility might be much less, in that there are probably a lot less Waze users in Crockett proportional to the total number of drivers than in Dallas.

I pretty much use Waze daily in my commute to and from work. I basically have the option of taking a couple of major freeways (DNT and I-635), or going via roads between home and work, and Waze does a good job of identifying when the freeways are clogged, and routing me down roads instead. My main complaint is that I wish it would give you some background as to WHY it decides to run you through the middle of the traffic jam, instead of down some intuitively faster route- like down the access road, or something like that.

No kidding. What I’m saying is, given that, what’s the difference between (a) giving tens of thousands of people less congested routes–not all the same ones–and (b) reducing overall congestion? Isn’t the one ultimately accomplished by the other?

In other words, maybe the effort Omar Little’s friend heard about is not the problem, but is working on the solution.

In the Bay Area there are some people who live on surface streets near busy freeway to freeway intersections, who hate Waze because it sends streams of cars down their once quiet streets.

I haven’t seen a decrease in accuracy of ETA over time, but there are two circumstances where I find it messes up. First, it sucks at seeing into the future. If my route will hit a major metro area an hour from now, it’s calculating the ETA based on traffic conditions now. And if rush hour starts picking up in 30 minutes, it will be significantly slower by the time I get there. At least it will reroute me in real time as I get closer if there are better alternatives, but my actual arrival time will still probably be bad.

The other place it messes up is when traffic isn’t moving consistently in all lanes, like at a freeway exit. It’s calculating the time based on drivers moving full speed on that stretch, but I’m stuck in the line of traffic in the right lane.

I haven’t noticed these circumstances getting worse over the last year or two, though.

The one that consistently gets me is where there’s an on-ramp to a 5 lane freeway, and shortly after that, a major freeway interchange where the rightmost two lanes exit onto the crossing highway. What happens every day is that the right two lanes back up for more than half a mile, blocking the on-ramp with bumper-to-bumper slow moving traffic, while the left two lanes zip by at 60-70 MPH, and the center lane is kind of a free-for-all of people getting right at 60-70, and people getting left from the on-ramp starting from about 3 mph.

I’m pretty sure Waze averages all this together and says that it’s moderate traffic (if it was using the fastest drivers, it would say NO traffic) and routes me down the on-ramp that’s backed up and a huge mess, rather than run me down the access road another half mile and onto the freeway on another on-ramp with little traffic at the end of it.

That’s why I’m reluctant to use Waze for trips longer than about an hour. Supposedly, Waze uses historical data to predict future traffic patterns, but they don’t do a very good job of it. There is a certain stretch of surface road in Pennsylvania that’s a good route at certain times of the day but it gets horribly congested in the late afternoon. Waze always wants to send me that way, even when I know congestion will be bad by the time I get there. In those cases my old pre-GPS route on the freeways will be faster even if Waze doesn’t know it.

I used it regularly and loved it for about 6 months, then it started offering the weirdest routes to my destinations, completely omitting the most obvious ones. Changing the settings didn’t help. I gave up on it, but keep it on my phone hoping it improves.

In the meanwhile, I’ve been back to Google maps which sucks too.

Any good recommendations out there?

Did you try the suggested routes?

Aren’t the most obvious routes likely to have the most traffic?