Google Maps vs. Waze

Google Maps vs. Waze: Which Should You Use as a Rideshare Driver?


Utilizing a GPS navigation service is essential when it comes to being a successful rideshare driver. Even for drivers who were born and raised in the city where they find passengers can benefit from the new technology and features offered by many navigation services.

While Uber does provide its drivers with in-app navigation, this mapping system has been described as “severely lacking when compared to these two third party options.” Subsequently, drivers usually choose between the two biggest players in the field of third-party navigation apps: Google Maps and Waze. 

Lifehacker shares that Google Maps is more akin to a traditional map whereas Waze is a turn-by-turn navigation app that focuses on a social network where drivers provide the traffic information.

Interestingly, Google purchased Waze back in 2013 for $1.1 billion, but has kept the two apps completely separate. Both have different functions and capabilities, which leads some drivers to prefer one app over the other. Thus, the debate has been created between Google Maps vs Waze. So which should you use as a rideshare driver?

Google Maps vs. Waze: How do the apps differ?

First, the two apps differ in how they calculate the best route based on the driver’s destination, although they both use real-time traffic data.

Google obtains its real-time traffic data through road sensors and speed data from drivers using the app. On the other hand, Waze relies on its users (like you and me) to provide information based on what is witnessed on the road during daily commutes.

The Waze app allows users to report accidents, police activity, and other obstructions by placing a pin exactly where the incident was seen. This gives other drivers the heads up so they can find alternative routes in order to avoid the traffic. With Google Maps, however, there are limited route customization options, which include avoiding tolls, highways, and ferries.

When it comes to navigation options, Google Maps provides information for driving, biking, walking, and using public transportation, while Waze is solely for driving.

How Google Maps can benefit a Rideshare Driver

When it comes down to navigation and interface, describes Google Maps as “the cleanest and most professional” out of all the navigation apps currently available. The article continues by saying, “The interface is minimal, routes are easy to set up and navigate, and it’s quite intuitive to use.”

The minimal interface of Google Maps presents traffic data in three easy-to-read colors: green (cars are moving), yellow (traffic is starting to slow), and red (you’re going to be stuck here for a while). Additionally, users also find Google Maps less distracting than Waze because it is free from advertising. Conversely, Waze has quite a few ways of trying to grab your attention with an ad, such as businesses pinned with logos and banners that pop up while you’re at a red light.

If your goal is to have the least amount of distractions while driving, Google Maps takes the cake over Waze.

How Waze can benefit a Rideshare Driver

Waze has many unique features for drivers that can help save time and money. In addition to the turn-by-turn navigation, Waze offers “reports” on traffic jams, police sightings, crashes or hazards on route, map chat, saved locations, and gas prices. 

Out of those reports, one that can particularly help rideshare drivers to save some money is the gas price report, which enables you to quickly search for the cheapest gas on a route. We all know that even ten cents extra per gallon can add up over time, so being able to easily locate the cheapest gas is ideal for rideshare drivers. Or if you use a different gas type (i.e. Midgrade, Premium, Diesel), the app lets you store your preferred gas type. 

Additionally, the reports for traffic jams, construction zones, crashes, and hazards in the road (like those potholes the size of small children) can be updated by any user. Although Google has similar real-time traffic updates, describes Waze as more aggressive and explains that, “Google Maps will try to take the fastest path using main roads, Waze won’t hesitate to take you through back routes. As such, driving with Waze can be a bit hectic, but it often saves more time than Google Maps.” For rideshare drivers, saving time means improved efficiency, and thus, the potential for making a greater profit.

Which app should you use as a rideshare driver?

When comparing Google Maps and Waze, it’s clear that each app has unique features and perks on top of the real-time road information that both provide. What’s not so clear, however, is which is better for rideshare drivers. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what kind of navigation experience you’re looking for. If you can’t decide between the two, don’t worry, here at Gridwise we give you the ability to use either one!

Let us know which navigation app you prefer, and why, in the comments section below.


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