I love Waze™ as a driving app. 99.5% of the time it gets me where I want to go without difficulty, and provides lots of useful information along the way.
But it has quirks.
Almost invariably, when I enter a destination from a position in a parking lot somewhere, Waze will calculate the route as though I want to go the direction I’m facing.
Here I’m facing north, parked at home – but to get to my destination, I need to drive 3 miles south to Route 1. Waze sends me six miles out of my way, just to make a U-turn.
If I were to head south to Route 1, the distance would be 6.8 miles instead of 13, and 10 minutes instead of 19. In short, Waze is doubling my distance and drive time simply because my nose is pointing north when I input the destination.
This happens far too often for comfort. If I’m in an unfamiliar location parked in a strip mall, for example, it seems like 4 times out of 5, Waze will have me turn the wrong way coming out of the parking lot, which will result in a ten-mile detour just to go back the other way or a longer, more convoluted route to my destination.
In the words of Columbo, “Oh, just one more thing:” I drive from Maine to Boston or New York often, and there’s a huge stretch of road along the way where Waze tells me “Searching for Network,” even though Google Maps has no problem in the same regions. I don’t get why this is an issue.
These are without question first-world problems, but I use this app so heavily – not having the inborn sense of direction that the Goodwoman of the House possesses – that it causes me a lot of stress. And I have not yet figured out how to get this kind of general feedback to anyone at Waze who cares. But on the plus side, for my own needs there’s no better directional guidance app out there.
The Old Wolf has ranted.