After this week’s protest action on the N1 highway between Pretoria and Jo’burg, I decided to write this blog. Traffic will always be a pain for any commuter and a thing that is one of life’s most dislikeable things. Radio traffic reports were our best defense against this evil, but luckily technology development has also included some tools against the big bad traffic wolf. The best tech tools to fight traffic is designed to provide the driver with an information navigation platform to plan your trip before it is too late. In my opinion there is two superior apps that will help you avoid traffic the best way, WAZE and Google MAPS. In this post my aim is to test both these apps and provide you with the pros and cons of each.
Waze is a mobile navigation app that uses the input from WAZE-users to determine routes. Waze was designed purely for navigation and all it’s functions lend toward getting you to your destination in the quickest time possible. The social media function or the real time contribution by the WAZE user-community is a clever way for users to report any road activity, i.e. traffic incidents, police locations or road hazards. This is a great tool to report a traffic jam the quickest and WAZE will automatically redirect you to a better, faster route. WAZE will always take you the quickest route, if it means you need to take a twisting and turning route through the suburbs of through Alexandra township, it will do just that.
Below is a list of functions:
- Live traffic reporting provided by users
- Plethora of voice navigation options, including celebrity voices
- Remembers commonly used routes, frequent destinations, and commute times
- Traffic jam time countdown
- Police notifications
- Spotify integration
- It is the navigation app that will inform you the quickest of any traffic problems, roadworks or any other hazards. (even Google MAPS sometimes draw its data from WAZE)
- It is purpose build for navigation and focus on this core function.
- Fun-element, users can earn points while driving, use celebrity voices for navigation.
- Sometimes it takes you through areas that are not safe. (It took me through Alex one night)
- If you don’t feel like the wind-windy road, turning left, right, stopping it can be a pain.
- In-app add when you stop, yes, when you stop you get spammed by adds on the WAZE interface.
Google MAPS was originally designed purely as a navigation app but evolved in so much more. Google MAPS is now a full-blown navigation-experience platform, it connects you to local businesses in the area, i.e. the closet coffee shot or sushi restaurant. You can not only navigate to these places but also see reviews and review it yourself. Google MAPS integrate with its big brother, the Google Search Engine and it becomes a city recommendation and navigation platform. This is extremely powerful. Google MAPS tend to keep you on the bigger less windy-windy roads but allow for traffic problems.
Below is a list of functions:
- Offers directions for driving, biking, walking, and using public transportation
- Voice navigation choices for driving, biking, and walking
- Google Street View integration Turn-by-turn directions still offered during offline mode
- Built-in Google search provides information on businesses and lets you know if a
- business will be closing soon
- Lane designation lets drivers know which lane they should be in before turns
- Drivers can find their parked cars easily since the app saves parking locations
- Navigation backlit change based on day/night-time
- Offline functionality
Google MAPS Pros:
- It is not just a navigation tool, but also in city information tool
- Really good for planning a trip
- A good companion for navigating traffic
Google MAPS Cons:
- Once you are on a certain route is normally sticks to that route, even if an accident happens on the route while you’re traveling.
At this moment I am using Google MAPS and it is because I don’t like twisting and turning my way from Pretoria to JOZI just to save 3 or 4 minutes. Google bought WAZE in 2013 and I feel Google MAPS are a good enough tool to avoid traffic the best you can.
Founder: Cars One100