Make Tunnels navigable
Great news! The Waze Beacons Program is in the works and constantly expanding.
The Waze Beacons Program is the first scalable, affordable solution in the world to power navigation in tunnels. Currently available in select tunnels throughout Pittsburgh, Haifa, Israel, Paris and Rio de Janeiro – seamless navigation is available to Wazers underground simply by turning on Bluetooth functionality.
This is not just applicable to tunnels, but to any place where there is a reasonable expectation the GPS signal will be degraded, such as on the lower deck of the George Washington Bridge (NYC).
NOTE: This could likely be combined with the Dead Reckoning idea.
dialin down commented
Jakob Alvermark commented
My daily commute is shorter if I take the tunnel, but it is always congested at the time I drive to work. There are other, longer roads that is faster. Since Waze does not work in tunnels, it does not know it is congested.
Also, if there is a speedcam right after a tunnel Waze will not alert you because it is still "stuck" in the tunnel.
I'd go with the "last known speed" approach for now - it's better than nothing and should not be that hard to implement.
Martin Kokeš commented
There's possibility to use Kalman filtering, accelerometer, e-gyro and compass sensors in smartphones to improve navigation in tunnels and places without strong GPS signal. See study at http://www.tkt.cs.tut.fi/research/nappo_files/Davidson08.pdf
Wim Godden commented
Some GPS programs (like Nav4All when it was still available) did things like : "After the tunnel, keep right" when there was an action to perform right after the tunnel.
Also, it could just mention "follow the tunnel for <distance>".
Christopher Grenness commented
I'm in as well, but my suggestion is to don't bother trying to use compass, gyro, accellerometer etc. just instruct the Waze client to stay on the current road with the last known speed (or even a 5% reduction as traffic often slows down just a tad in tunnels), in a sort of "demonstration mode".
Don't bother changing parts of existing roads to "tunnels" either, just let Waze enter "low/no GPS mode" whenever GPS signals disappear - it might happen in city streets surrounded by tall buildings, in dense forrests, in deep valleys, not only in tunnels.
Harald Jacobsen commented
I support this. Lots of tunnels in Norway
Even in short tunnels (never mind the Big Dig), it's easy to lose both GPS and data service. So if a road section were designated "tunnel", the Waze client would know not to panic, and the server would know not to mangle things too badly when the confused data transmission resumes.
great idea, especially with the road type tunnel, and use entry and exit times for avg speed.
Jaime Visser commented
Stated: Now I don't know anything about the APIs available to the developers, but accelerometer and gyro capabilities are perfect for tunnels where the Waze application currently has no idea what's going on.
Solution: For tunnels we just need a new road type "tunnel". Waze would know these probably don't have GPS and just use entry/exit times (on junctions) to calculate avg speed on this segment. With that avg speed it can show your car moving in the tunnel, factoring in your speed while entering it. This way waze can guesstimate your position in the tunnel (It's the way other GPS units do it). Special announcements could be triggered by entering a tunnel-road-segment, as would estimated speed. If you DO run into a trafficjam inside a tunnel, Waze will not notice it by reduced speed between GPS-fixes but by absense of GPS-fixes after enough time has passed to reach the other end.
Jostein Leira commented
I support this. Where I live and commute ther are lots of tunnel systems, and they are long. I have submitted a suggested "Tunnel" road type in the Cartouche map editor.
oh and please snap current location to tunnels only when there is no gps signal (or something) - last time i had waze wanting me to jump of a cliff that has tunnel unerneath.
Martin Tlustos commented
Yep, would be a great idea! One would need to have a specific part of the street reported as tunnel, otherwise waze cannot differentiate between general loss of gps signal and a tunnel where it is supposed to keep the calculated average speed...
You could use the compass for this partly at least...
perhaps use phone's accelerometer to estimate change in movement?
Erik Näsström commented
I think tomtom and others have been doing this for a while, and it's pretty simple!
you have the speed at the entrance just keep the icon moving at the same speed when you loose the signal entering the tunnel and correct any eventual errors once you exit and get contact again!
Or you can calculate the general speed by taking the distance / time in tunnel and set the "car" to move in that pace and then correct it once you enter!
Sure, it won't be a 100% match always, but it's one way to do it!
How exactly are you planning to do this without GPS? If there is no GPS available (such as in tunnels), you need to depend on cellphone towers, but these are inaccurate in displaying the exact location (and several tunnels do not have towers, but have the signals coming from outside (or beginning/end of) the tunnel).