Waze Gets Big Update: “OK Waze” Voice Control, HOV Lane Support in Canada and More

Google-owned Waze has updated their iOS (and Android) app to bring a new update, which the company is calling one of their “biggest” ever, containing three of their most-requested updates.

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New is a motorcycle vehicle type option, joining ‘private’ and ‘taxi’, which will offer specialized routing optimized for motorcyclists. To enable this, just go to Settings > Vehicle Type > Motorcycles in the app.

Another new feature is Talk to Waze, which now lets your voice control the app by saying “OK Waze” (similar to “OK Google”). The feature will let users “ initiate your drive, get a preview of the route ahead, send reports, and add a pit stop—all without lifting a finger from the wheel,” explains the company.

Talk to Waze is available to English-speaking users in Canada, the US, UK, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, and New Zealand, with more languages coming soon. Users can enable the feature by going to Settings > Sound & voice > Talk to Waze > Toggle Listen for “OK Waze” in the app.

It’ll be interesting if Google Maps will ever get “OK Google” voice support, given Waze now has it.

Lastly, new is HOV (high occupancy vehicle) route support, which Waze says is the first for any navigation app. This feature lets drivers get additional navigation options for their carpool lanes along their route.

To enable HOV lane support, go to Settings > Navigation > Add Toll/HOV pass > Select from a pre-populated list of passes available in your area.

In Canada, HOV lane support is only available in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, while 22 markets in the U.S. gain support for this too.

Last week, the City of Toronto announced the launch of its real-time traffic data sharing with Waze, a move similar to what Montreal did last year.

Click here to download Waze for iOS in the App Store.