Waze adds hands-free navigation to keep your eyes on the road
Waze has a number of measures to reduce distractions and keep your eyes on the road ahead, but there has been one inescapable distraction: you usually have to touch the screen to get things done. That’s a problem, especially in areas where distracted driving laws make it illegal to poke at your phone while on the move. It shouldn’t be a problem for much longer. Waze’s latest update includes a hands-free navigation option that lets you handle most tasks using only your voice. Say “OK, Waze” and you can navigate to a destination or report a traffic jam without losing focus.
Also, Waze is now one of the few navigation apps that acknowledges the two-wheeled motoring crowd. There’s a new motorcycle mode that can route you through roads too narrow for cars, gives bike-appropriate ETAs and refines paths based on input from other motorcyclists. While the experience is otherwise largely the same, this could make all the difference if it shaves a minute or two off your ride and makes sure you arrive on time.
This update will also be important if you regularly take advantage of special lanes to zip through traffic. Waze is now billed as the first navigation app to explicitly support high-occupancy vehicle lanes, potentially saving you gobs of time if you’re carpooling or otherwise eligible. HOV support is available in 22 states plus three major Canadian cities (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver), with more on the way.