Apple Maps is borrowing a few features from Google-owned Waze, as the navigation app continues its years of steady and gradual improvement.
In the latest iOS 14.5 beta, Apple is introducing the ability to use Siri, the Maps interface and CarPlay to report on road accidents, hazards and speed traps in real-time. Just like Waze, that data could be crowdsourced to warn other drives of what to expect a little farther down the road.
For example, drivers will be able to access a new ‘Report’ option within the interface that reveals the opportunity to flag an accident, hazard or speed check.
This functionality is also accessible via Siri, which means drivers can keep their hands on the wheel while driving, which is especially useful around accidents and hazards.
Drivers will be able to say “Hey Siri there’s an accident here” or “there’s a speed trap here”, for example. Users will be able to inform Siri that a reported hazard has now gone or the speed trap has moved along to ensnare someone else, elsewhere. Reported incidents will appear on the map to other drivers, just like Waze.
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Presumably, if enough people report the incident, it will be picked up by Apple’s services and added to the route in real time, enabling users to make more informed decisions. Currently, it appears the test is only live in the United States.
The update could encourage more people to choose Apple Maps over Waze. One of the reasons drivers continue to use the Google-owned platform is the reliability of these crowdsourced traffic and accident updates. Those who stick to the Apple ecosystem wherever possible may consider switching when this update goes live in the coming weeks.