Waze app gets Motorcycle Mode, Hotword Detection, and more in latest update

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Google’s navigation application Waze has some cool new features ahead of the holiday season. These new features are the biggest in its history. In a blog post on Wednesday, the Waze team announced a new Motorcycle mode, hands-free voice commands, and support for carpool routes.

Waze app

The most popular of all is likely to be the new hotword detection feature. It’s like the Google Assistant’s “OK Google” phrase: When it’s enabled, you can say, “OK Waze”, followed by a voice command. To enable it follow these steps:

(Settings -> Sound & voice -> Talk to Waze -> and toggle Listen for “OK Waze” on)

There is an improvement on Waze’s existing Voice Commands suite. Which already lets you to preview a route, send road reports, and add pit stops by shouting at your phone’s microphone. But before the update, you had to start Waze’s “listening mode” by tapping a shortcut or gesturing with your fingers. Now, it’s an entirely hands-free process.

Cyclists will now appreciate two new motorcycles avatars to choose from, plus a new Motorcycle mode that’s optimized for two-wheelers. you get specialized routing that are optimized by Waze’s crowdsourced data. Specifically, you’ll be directed to routes where motorcyclists are riding, and you’ll get a more accurate estimated arrival time.

To specify your vehicle type:  (Settings -> Vehicle Type -> Motorcycles),

Another feature is support for carpool lanes, or high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes. In 22 markets across the United States and Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, Waze will determine the optimal route for users driving together with friends or co-workers, and will serve up additional navigational options and arrival times. Waze says it’s a first for navigation apps.

How to enable it by heading to Settings > Navigation > Add Toll/HOV pass selecting from the list of pre-populated passes.

To specify your vehicle type in Settings > Navigation > Vehicle Type). 

The new and improved Waze will be out for Android and iOS users in some time.