Unless you relish a good traffic jam, consider downloading these apps—now.
Theres nothing fun about playing in traffic. You likely learned that at a young age. The era of the smartphone has ushered in personal navigation assistance to lessen the burden of traffic jams, and it's likely that the phone in your pocket is a better navigation system that the unit aging quietly in your car. Most modern navigation apps can alert you of radar traps, speed cameras, and tolls, as well as send an ETA to a friend, but some are even more functional than others. While you can't make traffic disappear on your own, here are a few of our favorite apps for beating it.
The gold standard of traffic avoidance apps for iOS and Android phones also carries no price tag for end users. You've probably heard of Waze by now, and it's critical that you add it to your arsenal of congestion avoidance technology. In essence, Waze relies on data gathered from its network of users—in addition to live traffic data—to inform which roads are flowing smoothly. Peer-to-peer infrastructure allows you to report traffic disruptions in real time and advise the best possible routes. Best of all, thanks to Google's purchase of the Israeli app company, Waze now utilizes the software giant's knowhow to keep you moving. If you only download one of these apps, it ought to be this one.
Before there was Waze, there was INRIX Traffic Maps, an app that upped the ante in real-time traffic avoidance. Now updated, from a clunky user interface to one that integrates Apple Maps, Inrix (let's stick to lowercase letters) is a true contender to Waze. The major benefit to Inrix is an easy-to-use interface and regularly updated travel times. Like Waze, Inrix learns from its users' data to help smooth out traffic. Need to arrive at a destination at a particular time, and want to know when to set out? Set it in Inrix and drive assuredly.
So, you want to outmaneuver traffic, but you don't want to rely on a bite-sized screen for the most up-to-date information? Turn to Genesis Intelligence Assistant App, a personal assistant for your car that's always at the ready, presented in gleaming color and graphics on a 12.3" widescreen display. Standard on all Genesis models, Genesis Intelligence Assistant App goes far beyond what an app can offer. Whether you're looking for a coffee shop or a quick getaway, integrated Google search offers up answers instantaneously. And with a standard subscription to SiriusXM Traffic and Data Services, you never again have a reason to be lost or late.
Brands come and go in the world of navigation software, and MapQuest has been around since the days of searching online and printing directions ahead of setting out for a journey. Today, the MapQuest app is relatively easy to use, and delivers options for travel by car, public transit, private ride share, or walking—closer to what Google and Apple provide. Admittedly, the map's contrasting shades of gray aren't the easiest to follow from a quick glance down to the cupholder where the phone is stored, but ETAs are relatively accurate and the readability of the display—while in motion—is clear.
Sygic counts 150 million drivers among those using its map software for 200 countries, but it's not the most prolific app in the United States. Sygic uses a proprietary interface to guide you through traffic, as opposed to Google or Apple's maps, and the experience is more like that of an in-dash navigation system. Sygic's party trick is the ability to mirror the screen at night, or general darkness, onto your windshield, in case your car is without a built-in head-up display. (Harder is keeping the phone still while you carve through corners on your favorite backroad.) You'll have to shell out $24.99 for Sygic Premium, or a fiver more for "lifetime" traffic updates, but the HUD trick alone could be worth it.
There's no greater feeling in traffic than hitting green light after green light. What if you could "ride the wave" all the time, so to speak, and skip the red lights? That's the promise of , a vehicle-to-infrastructure app that aims to keep traffic moving and cause less strain to the cars and drivers in it. Drivers using VicTraffic see a recommended speed for maximizing uninterrupted stop-and-go in traffic. It's an urban planner's fantasy. The catch? The app is currently being tested in Melbourne, Australia, with no plans to introduce it in the United States—yet.