Effectiveness of Navigation Apps: A Comparison Between Waze and Google Maps

Image via Ridester.com

Image via Ridester.com

Ben Gaffney, Staff Writer

Millions of people each day rely on navigation apps on their smartphones to get from point A to point B. Even for routes people know like the back of their hands, these apps can still be useful because they show faster, and easier routes. But which app is the best? I put that to the test this morning.

My mom and I were in one car, and my dad was in another. Our destination: Oratory Prep. My mom and I used Apple Maps, while my dad used Waze. Then, the race started. Both cars left my house at 7:42 A.M. And for about 7 minutes, each of the cars were in a big line of traffic on Sussex Avenue. However,  at 7:49 A.M., the car using Waze took a left on a side street that had no cars and it left the busy street. The Apple Maps car stayed where it was. The Waze car would take weird turns on backstreets so it could skip the flow of traffic. However, it got behind a dump truck, which slowed it down a little bit. Despite all of this, the Waze car was progressing towards OP so much faster than the Apple Maps car. Its ETA was 8:16 A.M, while the car using Apple Maps ETA was 8:22 A.M. In fact, the car using Waze got onto Route 24 (the highway that connects Morristown and Summit) when the Apple Maps Car was still on Sussex Avenue in Morristown. 

At 8:05, the Apple Maps car was stuck in a traffic circle, but the Waze car had already passed Morristown airport. Its ETA was 8:14, while the Apple Maps car’s ETA was 8:19. The Apple Maps car eventually got onto Route 24, and to put it into perspective, it passed Morristown airport at 8:11 A.M, making the Waze car 6 minutes ahead of it. At the same time, the Waze car took the exit off of Route 24, and it was really close to OP. However, when the Waze car was turning onto Woodland Ave, a huge load of traffic forced it to stay in its spot for over 2 minutes. This gave the Apple Maps car time to catch up. But not enough time. The Waze car had no more hard turns, it just had to drive through neighborhoods. It got to OP by 8:16, and the Apple Maps car was still on Route 24! It got off Route 24 at 8:17, and it got lucky and had no hard turns so it got to OP by 8:20.

This test says that Waze is probably one’s best bet to get to school. I didn’t test the other navigation apps, but I did learn one other thing about getting to school: I probably should leave a little earlier so I can get there on time!