Embargoed until July 26 at 1400 BST

CONNECTED CARS: WAZE ANDROID AUTO LAUNCHES IN UK

Contact presthaya@the10group.co.uk to arrange an interview (Jens Baron, Waze Global Product Lead) 

Today is the official launch of Waze Android Auto, a long-awaited integration that allows drivers to use the popular sat nav app directly from the car’s console. Waze recommends the fastest routes based on real-time driving data collected from millions of users who, together, help people avoid traffic and save time.

The app integration will enable drivers to use voice commands to start their journey, remembers their “Favourite Navigation” destinations, links to their vehicle’s steering wheel buttons and other console-mounted controls.

Jens Baron, Waze Global Product Lead, comments on the significance of Waze Android Auto to the future of mobility, he says:

“Waze for Android Auto is a step towards easier navigation and better connectivity for drivers. This integration brings the Waze experience directly to the car’s big screen and we’re pleased to announce that Android Auto is already supported by more than 100 auto brands.”

“We see Waze for Android Auto as an additional feature that will ultimately improve the service we offer users. Our Beta community love that this version is simplified but includes all of the essentials. We’ve also reduced the amount of click-throughs required to report things like traffic incidents – making it even easier for drivers to help each other.”

With over 85 million users already, Jens expects the app will only get more popular. He adds that one of the many benefits of Waze is its minimal background usage and data consumption:

“Compared to other navigation apps, data usage is very low. Waze doesn't download several gigabytes for its map and has effective map caching, which allows drivers to keep on their route for a long time without a data connection.”

All key Waze features will be available on Android Auto, including:

  • Home, Work and Favourites Navigation (drivers can program home, work and frequently visited “favorites” to quickly start their drive).
  • Use voice commands and tell Waze where they want to go.
  • ETA Panel: Organizes everything you need in one view before drivers head out. Easily check alternate routes and adjust sound settings.
  • Reporting: It’s easy to help others on the road with a visual reporting menu.
  • Alerts: Receive visual and audio alerts with the open app to keep drivers keep informed and your hands on the wheel.

Please see full FAQs below.

Launch, Availability & Accessibly

Q. What is the expected launch date of Waze for Android Auto?

A. The public launch is scheduled for July 26.

Q. What does Waze for Android Auto cost to use?

A. Waze is always free to download. Data rates vary by market and carrier.

Q. Where is Waze for Android Auto available?

A. Waze for Android Auto will be available everywhere Android Auto is live: Argentina; Australia; Austria; Bolivia; Brazil; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; France; Germany; Guatemala; India; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Mexico; New Zealand; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Puerto Rico; Russia; Spain; Switzerland; United Kingdom; United States; Uruguay and Venezuela.

User Experience

Q. What’s new, different or better about Waze for Android Auto?

A. Waze for Android Auto is built specifically for in-car display, which means a larger map and bigger views of routes, alerts, hazards and more. With this release, Waze is expanding user experience to give drivers an additional way to navigate with Waze. What’s more, if a driver is in another Android Auto app such as Spotify, Waze will show a direction notification within Spotify so that she/he will never miss a turn.

Q. Will it be possible to drive with Waze for Android Auto on your phone screen versus the the console?

A. This is in the plan, but we do not have more details at this time.

Q. Can I use voice commands for every activity?

A. Voice is limited to define your destination, such as “Take me to 123 Main Street” or “OK Google, let’s go to Dunkin Donuts.” You can also pre-program your Home and Work address, and give the voice command “Drive Home” or “Drive to Work”. We plan to expand these voice commands in the future.

Compatibility

Q. Is Waze compatible with Apple CarPlay?

A. At the moment, Apple CarPlay only supports Audio and Messaging third party apps.

To give iPhone users an optimal in-car experience, we are currently working on implementing mirroring solutions like SmartDeviceLink (announced during Mobile World Congress 2017) among others.

Q. Which cars are compatible with Waze for Android Auto?

A. Waze for Android Auto is available to all users through the Play Store and can be used on all supporting cars. A full list of supporting vehicles can be found here.

Features

We have worked with our 5,000-person Beta Community to develop the first version of Waze for Android Auto. Below is a list of Waze for Android Auto features, and users can expect to see updates in the future.

Currently available

  • Voice command navigation
  • Customized in-car displays
  • Home, Work and Favorites navigation
  • ETA Panel
  • Reporting and alerts

Not yet included

  • Voice command reporting on traffic, hazards and more
  • Waze Speedometer
  • Social features like send a beep beep, carpool, map chat and gas prices
  • Pre- and post-driving features like Share ETA, Planned Drive, or Where Did I Park

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