By Petroleum Wholesale
ATTN: Everyone that travels from point A to point B - we want to tell you about one of our favorite smartphone GPS apps available today. Waze is available as a free download for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, and Windows Mobile phones.
My fellow commuters are no longer the enemy. The Waze website says, "Nothing can beat real people working together towards a common goal: to outsmart traffic." And, as I discovered, by being of service to others (reporting construction or accidents) and showing gratitude instead of resenting other drivers, the result is a calmer drive and good road-Karma.
On Sunday, a fellow Wazer tipped me off about a radar traffic cop hiding in a bush. We gave each other a digital high-five -- two anonymous strangers, united in beating an evil speed trap!
The combo of humans and machines:
Waze isn’t your typical traffic and navigation app. Instead, it’s an app based upon “contributing to the ‘common good’ out there on the road.” It provides navigation as well other obstacles with fellow users in real-time on road hazards, traffic conditions, speeding traps, weather conditions and even gas prices. That feature makes Waze potentially more effective and helpful than your standard navigation app or basic GPS.
Here's how it works: Users report traffic jams and accidents to the smartphone app, which helps it to re-route you to a faster path. "It's like a personal heads-up from a few million of your friends on the road. Waze’s 3D Touch shortcuts provide access to popular features like address search, location sharing and turn-by-turn navigation based on your work and home address on file.
As you use Waze: you will earn points for your driving and for the reports you submit, and the more you do the higher your score will be. From there you can advance to higher “Levels” within Waze based on your overall activity, all the way up to “Waze Royalty” complete with a crown on top of your icon to show you are among the top 1% of high scorers in your area.
Customize how you appear: yes, you get to be a little rolling Waze icon. Although, you need to use the app for 100 miles of driving before you can set your “mood” – until then you are a newbie or “baby Wazer” as they note.
Send friends & family a link: via SMS or e-mail to a live map showing your real-time driving and estimated arrival time using the “Share Drive” feature in the app. Or, if you want someone to meet you somewhere, there is a “Send a Location” option, too.
Gas stations and noted prices: are displayed on maps in your area, and you can set it to show a preferred gas station, if you have one, as well as the type of gasoline you need (such as regular, premium or diesel).
So Waze, for now, will continue to be not just a daily thing, but practically an every ride thing. If I’m driving more than a half a mile from my house, I’m as certain to open Waze as I am to put on my seatbelt.
This is fitting because both habits, I’ve realized, are a kind of insurance: I put on my seatbelt to know I’m protected in an accident. I put on Waze to know — or at least believe — that I’m not going to drive even a minute longer than I have to.
I do have one suggestion to developers: Wazers score points for tip-offs and traffic reports, but these points should translate into real-world prizes like gas discounts or free coffee. I've earned 3,000 points in my first week. I should get a facial.
The app is localized in: English, Afrikaans, Arabic, Bokmål, Norwegian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Traditional Chinese and Turkish.