Winter brings some of the biggest travel days for motorists, it can also be the season with the most problematic conditions for roads. Everything from snow to ice to wind become treacherous distractions. Whether reaching grandma’s house or the next work day, knowing which routes are impacted by wintry conditions have become a common complaint for drivers. Waze users are now getting an all-important update that is uniquely tailored to the season.
Road hazards tailored towards the select conditions was at the top of the list for the service’s users. With so many in parts of the country that experience some sort of winter precipitation, it was a natural choice for designers as they looked toward updates. This time, the service is geared to give anyone real-time status reports as part of the road hazard warning option. It relies on user reports as well as their own data to create a comprehensive report of current conditions. Two of the biggest additions to this new line of road hazards is unplowed road updates and locations where ice could exist on roads.Read More »
While many look to snow as the most dangerous of winter conditions, ice is even more of a problem for motorists. Commonly known as “black Ice” it only takes one patch or slick spot to cause accidents. Unlike snowflakes, this condition requires travelers to look at the elevation, slope, and road surface to get a full picture. Waze looks at all aspects of the road condition and road involved to help users get a better idea of what they might be heading into. This is another feature that directly benefits from user participation. Along with the company’s data, having eye-witness accounts of the current conditions can develop a more accurate report for others in the area. Think of it like those news reports that set up at a spot known for numerous ice related accidents. With the new feature, it’s like watching thousands of those same reports in various areas throughout your route.
Not every winter condition has been included in this recent set of features. Sleet is one of the trickiest to track and its impact often varies. While hail is part of the current options, particular conditions are different than sleet. For the recent update, users will have to still rely on weather reports as well as area traffic information. The best way to keep the family, friends, kids, or any other fellow passengers as safe as possible is to enable a look at ice on roads. While it may not reveal the effects of sleet on surfaces, it does offer a more complete look at which roads or at the freezing point. Even if the road is without ice, that could change at any point if nearby areas are experiencing issues.
By no means is this a foolproof solution to alerts while on the road, but it does provide a helpful assistant to those sometimes treacherous trips. Many users appear to be satisfied with the concept. As with any new addition to a service, it requires a bit of patience as bugs are worked out. Among user complaints, the biggest headaches are coming from incomplete data as well as areas that are incorrectly updated.While most of the problem in this case rests on the company, a bigger number of user submissions could also help cut down on erroneous reports. It’s still something to think about that Waze has yet to address. Another factor in play is the possibility that user reports could be faked or from bot accounts. Over time, that possibility must be reduced for clearer details.