Waze Hoping New Beacon Program Can Fix Underground Issue


Waze is one of the more interesting apps that you can currently download and use on an Android device. While this is an app which is primarily designed to offer information to drivers, it is also one which is primarily designed to have the information come from drivers in the first place. This is because it is a community-based traffic and navigation app. However, not all the information that the folks behind Waze want to include, can be included from drivers. Likewise, not all of the information the folks behind Waze would want drivers to have access to, can be provided. A prime example of such information is tuned-based data.

A fairly obvious reason for this is the lack of being able to connect in tunnels and other underground areas, which means the app is at times unable to provide data due to a loss of a GPS signal. An issue which not only plagues the likes of Waze as tunnels and other underground areas are a common cause for the loss of any and all connections. This is largely why Waze has now started a 'Waze Beacons Program'. One which looks to reach out beyond drivers to those who actually are involved with these underground areas to help provide the information Waze needs to offer an uninterrupted service.

The way Waze hopes to achieve this is by municipalities and tunnel owners adding special 'Waze Beacons' to their tunnels. These battery-operated and low-energy beacons will be able to send information and data directly to a Waze user's smartphone or tablet over Bluetooth. Which essentially means that once a user enters an underground and non-GPS receiving area, the beacons will take over and provide all the on-site data needed. While this is a service that Waze hopes tunnel owners will take up, it is one which will not come free. According to the new Waze Beacons Program website, as many as 42 beacons are needed to cover a single mile of tunnel and each one does cost $28.50. Although, Waze is confirming that these beacons are not solely compatible with their own service and can be used (free of charge) with other navigation services. Which may prove to be a selling point to those municipalities and tunnel owners.

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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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