The traffic navigation app made its debut in Android-powered cars in late 2022, when Renault customers were given exclusive access to Waze. Waze debuted Polestar models earlier this year.
The application is now provided for all vehicles with integrated Google function. Drivers can download it from the Google Play Store like any other Android Automotive application.
Google Maps is the default navigation solution on Google’s operating system and is still the most popular choice despite the introduction of several alternatives. However, the debut of Waze on Android Automotive offers users a worthy replacement, especially since the application now has support for electric vehicle charging stations.
Like Google Maps, Waze can now search for nearby charging stations and provide clues as to their location. Route guidance is based on Waze’s efficient routing engine, so drivers are always shown the fastest route to the charging station.
However, the biggest downside of Waze on Android Automotive is the way the app works in cars with Google built-in. Certain Waze settings are only available on mobile, so users must first configure the app on the smartphone, log into their cars with the same account, and then have the settings sync between devices.
Waze is already working on improving this experience on Android Automotive, but no information has been announced at this time as to when the application could bring the full feature set to cars.
Meanwhile, Waze continues to improve Android Auto and CarPlay too. Both platforms have received the new EV charging station database, after the feature was originally only available for mobile devices. At the same time, the company belonging to Google is giving Waze a visual refresh on Android Auto after the Coolwalk integration.
Android Auto now allows users to run multiple apps on the same screen, as long as they support the new dashboard view. Waze was recently updated with Coolwalk integration and as such replaces Google Maps in the navigation tile. At the same time, the parent company is redesigning certain functions, such as the speedometer, to give it a more modern look and more legible information.
The traffic reporting engine is the main feature that makes Waze stand out from the crowd. Users can mark the location of various incidents like accidents, traffic jams, police traps and other hazards. Waze then displays the marked location on the map and alerts drivers when they follow a similar route. Similar features have already been implemented in Google Maps and Apple Maps, but with support for fewer reports, so Waze remains the top choice for crowdsourced traffic navigation.