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Waze brings hands-free navigation in latest update

You can now control Waze with just your voice. A new update brings hotword detection and allows you to perform simple tasks like starting a drive.

Published onNovember 29, 2017

Our phones do so much more than make phone calls. We use them for communication, entertainment, mobile payments, and directionsWaze, one of the most popular turn-by-turn direction apps, gives you directions while alerting you to upcoming accidents, speed traps, and other hazards along your route. One of the most dangerous things you can do while driving is taking your eyes off the road. With a new update, the app is giving you the option to control it with just your voice and keep your eyes on the road.

Talk to Waze

Navigation Wars: Google Maps vs Waze vs Apple Maps
The new feature called Talk to Waze is rolling out now. By simply saying “OK Waze” you can initiate a drive, get a preview of the route ahead, send reports, or add a pit stop without touching your phone. Once you’ve updated your app, you can turn the option on by heading into Settings > Sound & voice > Talk to Waze > Toggle Listen for “OK Waze.” The feature is available for English-speaking users in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, and New Zealand. Waze says that it will continue to roll out the feature for more languages soon.

Motorcycle routes

The app has also added a new motorcycle vehicle type option. Once enabled, it will direct riders on routes optimized for motorcycles. These routes come from other rider’s reports, and the more the option is used, the smarter the routing will become. The new motorcycle vehicle type is open to riders worldwide and can be switched on by heading into Settings > Vehicle Type > Motorcycles in the app.

See also: Waze adds ability to request roadside help to fellow users

HOV lane routing

The third and final new feature in this update is HOV lane support. Waze says this is a first, not only for its app, but for any navigation app. HOV lanes are reserved for those who are carpooling, have a special pass, or are in an electric, hybrid, or clean-fuel car. Once the option has been turned on, it will give you additional navigation options and arrival times based on the HOV lanes along your route. Waze is rolling out the special routing for 22 states across the US and Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal in Canada with more on the way. For a full list of supported markets and how to enable this, check out Waze’s website.

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