Waze Is the First GPS App to Support Carpool Lanes

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

Waze users in North America will be pleased to hear that the company is adding voice commands to its popular navigation app.

Ahead of millions of people hitting the roads over Christmas, Waze launches a new bundle of features to make journeys more bearable over the festive period and beyond.

If you use Waze over Google Maps, be on the lookout for a huge update that is rolling out this week. The team behind the crowd-sourced navigation app says that this is one of the "biggest Waze app updates ever", and for good reason.

In addition to the real-time road updates and alerts, Wazers riding in motorcycle mode will be directed on routes optimized for motorcyclists based on where fellow Wazers-on-wheels are riding and the more you ride in the motorcycle setting, the smarter the routing will become.

In addition to the Waze voice commands, the app is also adding support for carpool lanes and a motorcycle mode, which includes streets that a bike could fit down, but a auto can't. The motorcycle mode can be turned on within the settings for "vehicle type".

Google's Waze goes hands-free with new voice command and gets motorcycle mode for tailored navigation
Massive Waze Update Brings 'OK Waze' Voice Command, Motorcycle Vehicle Option, and HOV Lane Support

"Not only is it convenient, it's safer, allowing you to stay focused on the road ahead", Waze wrote.

Waze's new voice command feature allows users to initiate hands-free control by saying the phrase "OK Waze".

Now, if you're carpooling or have a vehicle with a special permit, Waze will offer travel times and directions for the HOV lanes as well, making it the first navigation tool to offer the opportunity. Waze promised to roll it out to more languages in the near future. To enable it, go to Settings, tap Sound & voice, tap Talk to Waze, then toggle Listen for "OK Waze" on.

This feature is now available for English speakers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, and New Zealand. 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.

Waze is initially rolling out HOV route support in 21 states plus Washington, D.C.; Toronto; Vancouver; and Montreal.

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