Waze adds voice control and motorbike mode

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The feature will let users " initiate your drive, get a preview of the route ahead, send reports, and add a pit stop-all without lifting a finger from the wheel", explains the company. Simply say "OK Waze", and it will start listening out for your Waze Voice Commands.

Motorcycle mode will offer routes that have been optimized for bikers based on where other Waze users who are on motorcycles are riding. This new feature is rolling out globally via the Waze app.

Google bought Waze about four years ago, and since then, there haven't been a lot of major upgrades to the navigation apps.

"Whether you're riding with one passenger or more; in a hybrid, electric, or clean-fuel vehicle; with a special pass; or a combination of all of the above, Waze will determine your optimal route", the company wrote.

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Given that Waze's routing recommendations are based on routes from other users, it seems like the ideal navigation app to highlight the differences between vehicle and motorcycle travel. Some of the new features will only matter if you've got certain driving habits or vehicles, but the voice command improvements will be useful to more Wazers. To enable it, go to Settings, tap Sound & voice, tap Talk to Waze, then toggle Listen for "OK Waze" on.

With this addition, Waze will be able to provide additional navigational options and arrival times based on high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV), or better known as carpooling lanes. If you live in an area that has such lanes (sometimes called diamond lanes or carpool lanes), these lanes will be now be used to designate the most optimal route.

Sadly though, Talk to Waze is only limited to the US, UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand only. HOV route support, on the other hand, is getting a much more limited roll out, launching only in 22 United States markets along with Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. The company said that the more riders use the Waze motorcycle mode, the "smarter the routing will become".

As outlined on the Waze blog today, you can now go into your Settings menu and set "Motorcycles" as your vehicle type.

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