Nothing could convince me that this was worth it anymore.
This game is stupid. I am tired of playing along with things that I think are not fun, don’t reflect my values, and don’t respect my time or abilities. The way out is not clear yet, but it is coming.
And to find my way out I will need some directions.
About 10 days ago we started using the waze navagation app. I had first heard of it when I was getting reviewed to be a driver for Lyft. My mentor asked me what navagaion app I used, either Google Maps or Waze. At the time I never heard of Waze so I just played it cool and told him Google.
Then about a month later I heard the guys on BaD radio talking about waze and how they just discovered it. Although it has been around for awhile now, they just got into it. They were describing some of the features that included a way to notify if a police was in an area and some other cool features.
Being that my wife had a few run ins with the law this year I was intrigued.
I was going to download it when I got home that way I would be on Wi-Fi. But then I forgot. Then I forgot several more days before I finally got around to the Google Play store where I downloaded waze for free.
The interface was easy to setup and understand and I was instantly a fan when I saw that I could earn points and level up. Sorta like a game! Mostly I liked that I got to start small. As a baby wazer! But quickly found out that only 100 miles of driving later would I come into adulthood.
From there I would have the ability to change my “mood” to other avatars.
We were enthralled.
While doing some poking around online to prepare this post I noticed that waze has a “Suggestion Box”. I will be sure to share these ideas there after posting.
A) More Moods / Customizable Moods
I like that I have a choice in switching my little wazer avatar. But quickly I realized that the options are extremely limited. Having more moods to choose from will help the comunity aspect too because there will not be hundreds of the same looking wazers driving around.
A way to make the current moods into more would be customization. A “happy” mood is a shade of pink. Nothing wrong with that, but what if I want to be green and happy? Or red. Or whatever else?
It would be easy to allow with our third idea.
B) More Points
Earning points makes my brain light up with delight. Earning more points would be even better! There are points for reporting things, like a pothole. But the opportunities seem limited. There could be points for every mile driven. Or for confirming things like potholes, red light cameras, etc.
Also there could be points for updating things. Say a police is no longer present or something is no longer in the road and you update that. Points. Points. Points.
C) Point Store
When I was explaining the waze app to a friend they asked me what I do with my points.
Then I was like. Um I feel good getting them…
But seriously. The points go towards a Scoreboard, but that in a little competition-ie and not commmunity-ie. I would like to have more points (see B) and then to be able to use those points for something. A point store where there are unlockable moods or customizations (hats, sunglasses, etc.) would be fun!
And eventually they could transition the points system to work with advertising partners and have points be traded in for actual gift cards to participating sponsors.
D) Speed Limits
We think that it is good to be able to see our speed when on screen. We think it would be better if the speedometer had an additional feature of turning red when you are going over the speed limit. And staying neutral or green when you are good.
But how would waze know the speed limits you ask?
We wazers report them just like any other report. We say or push the report button and then enter the speed limit when we pass the sign indicating the proper speed. It would probably take a little while to collect all the data but eventually there would be speed limits reported on enough roads that this feature could be implemented.
And as a community not only would we “outsmart traffic together” but we would all drive safer too.
E) More Navigation Voices
This is an easy improvement. It could even be another feature that points are traded in for unlocking additional voices. Elvis and Arnold are fun, but they could get deals with media companies to get our favorite TV show characters, Sports announcers, or even cartoon voices on here.
The fun never stops.
F) More Social Features
Sending a “beep beep” to a stranger is a little weird. And sending ETA’s aren’t exciting. It is neat to see other wazers on my map and know that I am part of something. But what that something is… I’m not sure exactly.
Perhaps there could be a “off-road” chat (because texting while driving isn’t safe…or legal in some areas).
A board to pin or post cool roadside stops or attractions.
Maybe even a waze meetup group!
G) ETA to Text
Like I mentioned ETA’s are not exciting. But they can be useful. If the other person gets them that is… Some other folks you want to send an ETA to might not be on waze. Or your push notification is just overlooked by the person you sent it too…
If the ETA was sent to the phone number’s SMS service then there might be a higher chance of visibility by others you want to share that info with.
H) Integrate Music
Music in cars is like peanut butter and jelly.
Waze could team up with some other music apps to provide easy switching while driving. I am not totally sure what this looks like but it would make us all safer.
I) Report Lane Specifics
One thing we noticed when reporting objects in the roadway is that it didn’t give us the option to select which lane the object was in. So it is helpful to know when approaching what lane to pick to actually be effective in being safe. This would be similar to the feature of reporting a stalled vehicle. That gives you the choice of being on the road or on the shoulder.
This feature could also be useful in reporting potholes.
J) Show Lanes at Intersections
Google maps does this so I’ve gotten used to it. When I approach an intersection, especially in a place I’ve never been before I don’t know what options I have at the intersection. Waze tells me when and where to turn but giving me this additional data would allow me to know if I need to get over all the way or just a lane or two.
Also if I decide to re-route or go someplace else or am just stuck in traffic, displaying all the possible lanes at intersections would only make my waze better.
Being a part of something bigger makes life worth it.
But I am still done doing things the old way.
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P.P.S. Want more about my journey?
Conspire to Inspire will tell how I put together a dream team of virtual mentors and why you should care.