We all dread the stop-and-go traffic, road rage and speed traps that mark driving these days. But by using one of a host of location-based mobile applications that have recently hit the market, we have the means to avoid such driving hazards. Below is a list of five mobile apps designed to get you where you want to go as quickly and painlessly as possible:
Waze — This free app, which was released yesterday on the iPhone and is also available in the Android app store, relies on crowd-sourcing to provide drivers with real-time traffic information to help them find the quickest route to their destination. Using the GPS on a driver’s mobile phone, Waze gathers data about the driver’s location and speed to update the road map and traffic information displayed. (Drivers can manually report traffic updates and map inaccuracies to the system as well.) And because Waze harnesses the power of the crowd, such data information gets better as more people use it.
Aha Mobile — Similar to Waze, Aha is aimed at helping drivers find the quickest travel route and will alert them of traffic conditions — but not on a map. Instead, this free iPhone app, which was rolled out this week, shows traffic conditions on the three roads closest to where you’re driving and provides travel times between road exits. Drivers can voice-record updates about traffic and road information into the app. Drivers can also customize the settings in the app so it alerts them to places nearby that they’re interested in, such as a Starbucks or pizza place. Aha even send alerts about red-light cameras.
Trapster — Kevin and James over at jkOnTheRun have previously written about Trapster, a mobile application that provides real-time information about speed traps. This nifty app also relies on crowd-sourcing, and lets you report a speed trap by either calling a toll-free number or just tapping it into your phone. Trapster is available for free on the iPhone, BlackBerry, and on Android and Symbian devices. It’s coming out with a version for Windows Mobile devices and the Palm Pre later this month.
Mobileyes — Developed by New York-based 3rd Dimension, Mobileyes streams live video and still images from traffic cameras to your mobile phone. Mobileyes accesses its content from various state departments of transportation and is only available in certain cities, such as New York, Houston and Detroit. The application can be downloaded for free and is supported on the iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Java J2ME and will be available on Android devices soon.
iGasUp — This iPhone app, a favorite of TheAppleBlog, helps drivers find the cheapest places to fill up their tank. By compiling credit card transactions from the 10 gas stations closest to the driver, the app displays fuel prices in ascending order. The app has pricing data from over 110,000 gas stations throughout the U.S and is available for $2.99 at the iTunes App Store.
Are there any other mobile apps that you use while driving? Share your experience in the comments section.