Thursday, September 8, 2011

Work, Traffic, and GPS

This is the third day in a row that my commute to work (one way) has taken over an hour and 45 minutes. It used to take 45 minutes to an hour before Labor Day. I'm screwed this week since I have meetings at 9:30am; otherwise I'd come in even later. I'm not sure why there's such a huge difference. People say it's school but are there that many students (I assume college) that drive on the freeways? Don't they live in dorms?

I also have 2 GPS devices in my car: Google Navigate (beta) on my Android phone and Waze (free GPS app) on the iPhone. Interestingly, they often give me different directions along the way. However, both suck at estimating time of arrival during heavy traffic. When I left the house this morning, GN said it would take 1 hour and 7 minutes while Waze said 60 minutes. After driving for about 45 minutes, GN said 48 minutes to go. Waze OTOH, keeps popping up messages changing the ETA. I think today it extended the ETA 4 times. Another difference is that GN picks a route when you enter the destination and reroutes only when you deviated off the given path. Waze is different in that it keeps trying to find a shorter route. While I was on the 91 freeway, it told me to get off the freeway, drive on local streets for 5 miles, then get back on to the 91 again. Strange. It claimed that I could have saved 2 minutes.

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