The Waze iPhone app continues to improve, as the free, crowd-sourced navigation app has just added real-time voice alerts.
As you may know, the Waze iPhone app provides free navigation information by relying on users to provide the data. The voice alerts takes this one step further, as the company is hoping that users will be willing to give voice alerts about upcoming road hazards.
For example, users with the new Waze iPhone app at the recent Super Bowl could have said the roads leading up to the stadium were icy or full of sleet. Ideally, another user would be able to hear this and avoid this type of hazard.
“Everyday, drivers are faced with any number of dangers on the road including ice, accidents, and flooding for example. The unpredictable nature of these hazards and lack of immediate road data leaves drivers vulnerable to the conditions ahead,” said Noam Bardin, CEO of Waze, in a prepared statement. “The only way this information can be collected and distributed in real-time is by the initiative of group-minded individuals and a means to warn their fellow drivers.”
The real-time voice alerts will be hitting the Wave iPhone app first and then updates are promised which will bring this to the Android, BlackBerry and other platforms.
While this is a neat feature, it’s going to be a tough road for the company if it is looking to compete with the Google Maps app. Not only is this preloaded on the iPhone, Android and many other devices, Google continues to improve its mapping service.
Google Maps already offers free turn-by-turn navigation and it even includes cool things like 3D renderings of building thanks to the vector graphics. The company also added check-in functionality with its latest update.
Still, Waze is continuing to provide some cool stuff and, at the very least, it is building some great technology that is likely very attractive to some larger entity.