How to Change Your Car on Waze

February 17, 2024

Waze is a crowdsourced navigation map that gathers information on traffic snarls, gas prices, and other road-related issues from users as they drive. It is free to download and use, though the app earns money through advertising support. It also integrates with Apple's CarPlay and Android Auto in cars for turn-by-turn guidance and piped music playback. It enables drivers to share tips and alert others to three-car pileups, hidden speed traps, and more. The social nature of Waze has also made it a valuable tool for city planners, transportation departments, and first responders who can use the app's real-time information to avoid or quickly reroute traffic in fluid situations.

Unlike Google Maps, Waze offers more customization options in terms of both on-screen icons and the voice used to announce directional instructions. There are dozens of voices to choose from, including celebrity voices and the option to record your own. It also gives drivers the ability to select driving preferences that include avoiding tolls, highways, and more. The app is aggressive about getting drivers around obstacles reported by other users to the point of sending them on weird routes that shave seconds off their ETA. It can be distracting, particularly when it is accompanied by loud, obnoxious ads that seem to have no limit on how long they can run.

Waze requires a steady mobile data connection to function, which could lead to high carrier data charges for frequent users. It also can't save maps for offline use, although it does cache navigation data so that you can continue to navigate if you lose service.


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
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