To say that the rise of smartphones as navigation aids has also served to reduce driver awareness may be a bit of an understatement; how many times have you tuned out passing street signs or exit markers, competent that your phone’s turn-by-turn app would finally speak up when it came time for you to take action? Whether or not this offloading of driver responsibility to apps is a good or bad thing is a discussion for another time, but today we’re learning about one new tool that seeks to keep drivers better informed of the road on which they travel, as Waze picks up the ability to warn you when you’re speeding.
Mapping services may make it a snap to figure out how to get from point A to point B, but they often deliver very little additional data about roads – including just how fast you’re legally permitted to transverse those routes. As a result, it’s easy for drivers already accustomed to letting their app navigate for them to not be aware of the posted speed limit. When they inevitably get pulled over by a watchful cop, “my app didn’t tell me I had to drive slower” isn’t going to be a valid excuse.
That’s where Waze steps in, using user-submitted (and verified) speed limit data, in concert with your phone’s GPS receiver, to deliver warnings when you exceed permissible speeds.
“OK,” you say, “but no one actually follows the speed limit. If you don’t drive slightly faster than the signs say, you’ll get run off the road.” Well, that questionable legal advice aside, Waze has got you covered there, too, and you can set the app to warn you only when you’re traveling at a specific percentage above the speed limit.
This feature is debuting first in sixteen nations spread across the globe (and not the US just yet), but should be coming to additional countries soon.