Huge Waze update brings support for motorcycles and voice commands

Alan Olson
November 30, 2017

The motorcycle mode can be turned on within the settings for "vehicle type".

The "Talk to Waze" feature expands on the app's limited voice control capabilities, allowing users to verbally set their route, preview the navigation, send Waze's crowdsourced traffic reports, and add pit stops to their journey.

The Google-owned traffic and navigation app just added a motorcycle mode, which offers "specialized routing to help make finding freedom on the open road simpler and faster", the company wrote in a blog post. The feature selects routes that are tailored for two-wheelers, and the company says the system will learn and improve the more you use it. You can turn the new feature on by going to the Navigation menu within Waze and then clicking "Add Tool/HOV Pass". Some of the new features will only matter if you've got certain driving habits or vehicles, but the voice command improvements will be useful to more Wazers.

"Whether you're riding with one passenger or more; in a hybrid, electric, or clean-fuel auto; with a special pass; or a combination of all of the above, Waze will determine your optimal route", the company wrote. Waze promised to roll it out to more languages in the near future.

In order to enable Waze voice commands, you'll have to switch them on, however.

Google's Waze goes hands-free with new voice command and gets motorcycle mode for tailored navigation

To start chatting with Waze today, head to Settings Sound & voice Talk to Waze Toggle Listen for "OK Waze" on.

The Waze voice commands are already available in English for users in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

Lastly, new is HOV (high occupancy vehicle) route support, which Waze says is the first for any navigation app. To switch the feature on, you'll need to provide the app with some extra details about your vehicle and its occupants because the requirements for using carpool lanes vary in different places.

Motorcycle mode will offer routes that have been optimized for bikers based on where other Waze users who are on motorcycles are riding.

Waze supports carpool lanes in 21 USA states and Washington, D.C.as well as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, Canada.

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