In early 2017, a conversation with yet another Waze fanboy finally nudged me to start a navigation app experiment. I was skeptical that the Alphabet owned company could meaningfully best its parent’s home grown Google Maps. I was also curious whether Apple Maps had discovered competence since its iOS 6 release.
I thus set out to answer three questions:
- Which navigation app estimates the shortest travel time?
- How does each app over/underestimate travel times?
- Which navigation app actually gets you to your destination most quickly?
This exercise lasted the majority of 2017 and led me to dread almost any car trip due to the self imposed data gathering tasks that came with it. Nonetheless, my wife and I persevered, and I hope this data serves the community well.
The author reached these three conclusions
- If you want to get to your destination most quickly, use Google Maps.
- If you want an accurate prediction from your navigation app to help you arrive at your destination on time, use Apple Maps.
- If thinking you’ll get to your destination quickly helps to ease your commuter anxiety, use Waze.