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Traveling for the holidays? AAA tested three navigation apps for pros and cons

AAA puts three driving apps to the test
AAA puts three driving apps to the test
Posted at 8:52 PM, Nov 21, 2018

CINCINNATI -- In anticipation of the upcoming holiday travel season, the American Automobile Association tested three navigation apps to assess the pros and cons of each one. 

"Some apps may say, okay, they can determine there's construction happening in this part of the country you're driving to, so we want to get you around that," AAA spokeswoman Jennifer Moore said.

AAA tested three of the most popular driving apps in use: Apple Maps, Google Maps and Waze. 

"We wanted our drivers and our scribes to basically let us know what, if anything, they encountered while driving," Moore said.

The route: From Wetlands Park East in Liberty Township to downtown Cincinnati.

All three vehicles left at 3:17 p.m. Google maps had an estimated arrival time of 3:51 p.m., 3:52 for Apple Maps, and 3:54 for Waze. AAA purposely targeted this time of day because of the afternoon rush hour.

"For the holiday season, this is also the stretch of time where a lot of families will be getting on the road to go visit friends or family," Moore said.

Waze alerted drivers to potholes, crashes and police, but it did not provide lane suggestions. Apple Maps re-routed around crashes, but a 6-month-old roundabout was still listed as a four-way stop. Google Maps offered verbal notice of faster routes but didn't have updates on closed exits due to construction. 

"Waze came in number one followed by Apple Maps, and then Google was the last," Moore said. 

To be more accurate, Waze's arrival time matched the estimate exactly; Apple was off by four minutes. Google was nine minutes behind.