Forecast ETA and Route Based on Projected Traffic Rather Than Current Conditions
Bottom Line: Use data already being collected by Waze to get you home faster based on a forecast rather than current traffic conditions
While traveling with Waze, I usually pick the route that will take the least amount of time to get home initially. I have noticed that there are nodes (decision points) at which I should either change my route or stay on the originally chosen path based on both current traffic AND how much I anticipate traffic to change between now and arrival.
Should I stay on the highway and main road knowing it will likely get slower in the next 10 minutes or drive slightly further out of my way, but having less forecast traffic enroute?
I know that Waze can update you based on the current traffic conditions and recommend a re-reroute. I would like to see a forecasted route guidance feature. I usually check Waze to re-calculate my best route several times while driving and manually note the changes among the three proposed routes to my house. I then recheck a few minutes later so I can see how much each route option has changed in the last few minutes of time. That rate of change noted for the time to destination on each route (usually traffic getting slower at rush hour) will lead me to guess that in the next few minutes things will either be better or worse that what is noted in the app.
It would be nice if the app would recommend a route that currently takes longer, but accounts for that anticipated rate of change automatically (i.e. I know that when I get to the choke point in traffic 10 minutes from now the traffic will be longer than the current projected 10 minute delay, maybe 20 thus making another option the best choice). It seems with all the data, an algorithm could capture this live change and maybe even reference historical data to estimate which path to take.
When I plan a drive that takes one hour for example, it is not always the current traffic that is relevant on the second half of my trip. When I start at 7, current traffic at the second half of my route may guide me into the city where there will be high traffic when I get there actually around 8 o'clock, but there is no traffic at 7. Waze will of course reroute me while I am en-route when the congestion occurs, but it is possible that I could have been chosen a completely different route earlier if I had known that there would be high traffic based on predicted traffic data. I could have avoided the heavy traffic entirely if I had chosen a different route at the first half of my drive and as a result I might have arrived earlier.
If an accident happens on a highway, it could influence traffic for hours, and this could be used for the prediction as well.
Sherlock McGyver commented
Agreed, while the other commenter thinks that bicycles would create a problem, he doesn't seem to understand it is merely an ESTIMATE, the way that Waze currently creates an ESTIMATE for your arrival. The only difference is using years of historical data that would create a nearly flawless estimate of your true arrival time and which route will be best at any time of day. This is entirely within the realm of possibility and would vastly improve transportation. Another thing is to take the data that is pouring in of current users and chosen routes to add yet another layer of accuracy to the prediction based on how many known vehicles are using the routes and then extrapolating that with a margin of error for unknown vehicles, which really takes us back to the historical data portion of it.
I don't think this is that easy ... All year long I drive the same road from work to home at around the same hour. A couple of days per year there's a bicycle race on my road which jams up the rest of the roads around it.
If I would navigate with current congestion waze would route me around it (I hope)
If I would navigate with projected traffic and not real traffic, I would be routed right into it as Waze would not be able to account for the special events.
Same with traffic incidents... highways are usually fine, unless one day, a truck hit a couple of cars resulting in fatalities and complete closure of the highway.
Projections can be wrong... the current traffic is what it is.