How Waze Is Making Mapping Work in Tunnels
Driving through tunnels doesn't have to mean losing your directions.
Navigation app Waze is combating the frustrating issue of losing a GPS signal when driving through tunnels.
GPS signals can cut out in tunnels due to concrete and environmental factors, often leaving drivers without access to navigation. As a solution, Waze has developed Waze Beacons, which are relatively low-cost, battery-operated controllers that can transmit messages to a person's smartphone or tablet and maintain map connections via Bluetooth.
Currently, Waze beacons are being set up in Pittsburgh's Fort Pitt Tunnell and Liberty Tunnel, as well as in Israel. The company is also planning to install the beacons in tunnels across Rio de Janeiro and Paris.
Gil Disatnik, a systems operation engineer at Waze, came up with the concept after getting lost in Boston while driving from Logan Airport and losing a signal in a tunnel.
Now, Waze is hoping to eventually persuade all tunnel operators to purchase and install the beacons to alleviate the issue.
The transmissions coming from the beacons are also unencrypted, allowing other map services like Google Maps and Apple Maps to connect to them through Bluetooth when GPS isn’t available.
Talia Avakian is a digital reporter at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @TaliaAvak.