What you need to know
- Apple Maps is getting some reporting features in iOS 14.5.
- Users will be able to report an accident, hazard, speed trap, or incident with Siri or CarPlay.
- The feature is available to beta users starting today.
One of the popular features enjoyed by mapping apps like Waze has been the ability to report accidents, hazards, or speed traps that alerts other drivers on the road that happen to be on the same route or in that general area. It's a handy feature that might help other drivers to find a better route depending on the impact that an accident or hazard has on traffic.
Now, it appears that the feature is making its way to Apple Maps. The feature, which is rolling out to the iOS 14.5 developer and public beta today, will let drivers and passengers report accidents, hazards, or speed traps to other Apple Maps users who are on the same route.
The feature will work with Siri or CarPlay and allow you to say things like "Hey Siri, there's an accident up ahead" to log the accident. Users will also be able to report that an accident, hazard, or speed trap is no longer there.
The list of phrases Siri will understand includes things like:
- "Hey Siri, report an accident."
- "Hey Siri, there's a hazard."
- "Hey Siri, there's a speed trap here."
- "Hey Siri, there's no longer an incident."
The feature is almost identical to those that have existed in the Waze app that users have enjoyed for years, and it is a good one for Apple to bring to its Apple Maps app.
The feature will be available to everyone once iOS 14.5 is released to all users, but it is currently unclear when that will be.
Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.
I hope they continue to support waze
Yeah, but have you seen their privacy labels in the App Store? No thanks. On a side note, Waze is owned and operated by Google, so Apple don't really have any control over whether it keeps running or not... But I can hardly see Google getting rid of it any time soon, considering the amount of data they harvest from their users.
Read a fun story back when Waze was starting this feature and some Police departments weren't keen on it (the speed trap part). One Police Chief said he loved it. He had his guys drive around and report traps in places where they had problems. Said it really helped keep the speeders in check. ;)
Way back when Trapster was around - for those of us that have been using smartphones long enough to remember it - some of the cops in my area used to encourage its use, for exactly the same reason...
I hope they expand the hazard category to make it less generic. For Waze there's:
- vehicle stopped on shoulder
- vehicle stopped on road
- object on road
- construction on road
- animals near road
- heavy rain / fog (i.e., reduced visibility)
Also, accidents are categorized as major, minor, or on the other side of the road. A minor fender bender with cars and police on the shoulder doesn't mean you have to route 5 miles around that spot. Side note: I wish Waze (and Apple) had a "maintenance crew/mowers" hazard. I guess "construction" fits for now on Waze, and the new - but too generic - "hazard" for Apple Maps.
I sort-of agree... I'd like to see the reporting expanded a bit - but not if it means having a list of 20+ things I could potentially report (one should be focusing on the road, not a million different "hazard" categories). At the very least they should have "left shoulder", "road" and "right shoulder" options. Also, I don't know about breaking it down into "minor" or "major" accidents... I used to be an ambulance driver for many years and I would I would consider a "major" accident is going to be quite different to what other people might consider a "major" accident; but the same could be said of any two random iOS users. How do you keep consistency among users, without distracting them from driving?
Nice to see this is coming... iOS only recently started notifying me about speed traps (not that I care about those - road hazards are my concern - if you speed then you deserve the fine), and I quite literally logged-in to ask (in the forums) if it was possible to report traffic hazards.
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