Google’s Waze App Almost Killed Me

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You probably already know about Waze, the social GPS navigation app Google bought awhile back. Up until a few months ago, it was one of my favorite ups—until it nearly killed me.

One of the best features in Waze is, let’s face it, the ability for people to report the position of hazards ranging from construction to traffic jams to, ahem, cops. Okay, I especially loved the cop-locating feature… not to say I used it nefariously or anything, but in a way it was sort of like evening the playing field if you know what I mean. Reporting these items—while driving—can be very risky. Duh.

But there’s just something interesting about seeing the other Wazer’s passing by that draws you in to the app. It makes everyone on the road seem more connected somehow. There was a sense of community even though I never tried the chat feature. People were looking out for each other and that was cool.

I also really loved the way that Waze gamified driving. Every so often there would appear a piece of digital candy I would gobble up as I drove along earning points. Of course Waze just wanted my data so it could be pooled with data from other drivers, but I was fine with that. It make the system work for everyone.

But it was exactly ...

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