Waze is getting a handful of new features today as the Google-owned navigation app targets two-wheeled motorists and doubles down on its safety credentials.
Motorcycles and mopeds often engage in “lane splitting” or “filtering,” progressing along congested roads by driving in spaces between cars. Similarly, some roads may be too narrow for cars, and many cities allow two-wheeled vehicles to use lanes normally reserved for buses. All of this means motorbikes don’t have the same restrictions as cars, so estimated arrival times and routes provided by navigation apps may not always be accurate for them — and with nearly 9 million registered motorcycles in the U.S. alone, this is a major deal.
You can activate “Motorcycle” as your vehicle type in settings. Traffic data garnered by Waze from its global army of bikers will then be treated a little differently from car data, resulting in tailored routes and times.
Waze is also now available to use completely hands-free. Though the app has enjoyed voice-activated search features for many years already, users still had to tap on a result to confirm their selection. This is fine at the start of a journey, or while stuck in traffic, but not great while speeding down the highway at 70 mph.
Now, thanks to a tie-up with speech recognition platform Sensory, if you allow Waze to access your device’s microphone from within the…