We love Waze, as does much of Los Angeles—about 10 percent of L.A. drivers use the real-time traffic app, according to Gizmodo. But, like many, we couldn’t handle Waze’s regular suggestions that we turn left at intersections without traffic lights. This feature stranded many drivers, and many of them resorted to dangerous turns that sometimes led to collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, and other cars.
Waze has finally found a solution to the problem. In L.A., they introduced an option on the “Navigation” section where a driver can choose to “Reduce Difficult Intersections.” If turned on, Waze will no longer guide drivers to “risky turns” and instead direct them to longer, safer routes (e.g., directing cars to a signal or advising to take a few rights instead of a left).
Now that this is checked off our list of Waze requests, these still remain unfulfilled:
• An end to constant notices of “vehicle stopped on side of the road.” Unless it’s going to hold us up or impair us, save your breath, Waze.
• Inclement weather warnings. Yes, weather is a rare occurrence here, but it happens and it severely affects driving. A head’s up at the beginning of your journey would help.
• Updates on big events. Who wouldn’t want to know that the E3 festival is happening on the day of your big interview downtown? After you type in your destination, it’d be nice if Waze could inform you of a soccer match, Fleetwood Mac concert, or anything else that could severely muck up your ride and parking situation.
• It’s easy to find a gas station via Waze, but what about Starbucks? Sure, you can type “Nearest Starbucks” into the destination bar, but why not strike up a partnership and make it possible via the touch of a button?
• Info on carpool lanes. Sometimes driving in the HOV lane makes a huge difference; sometimes not so much. It’d be nice to know whether it’s worth dragging a co-worker to your friend’s improv show in Glendale (is the extra 20 minutes worth another discussion about who’s cooking fish in the microwave?).
• A comparison to transit or biking would also be helpful; we all know it can sometimes be quicker to hop on the train or bike during rush hour.
• Playlists! Slogging your way to Vegas? How about some musical accompaniment, Waze? You are owned by Google, right?
• Another long road trip and out of Wifi service? How about some suggestions for old-timey car games? Who doesn’t remember playing “20 Questions” in the backseat?