or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple's Waze-like navigation system creates routes based on user ratings, real-time accident reporting
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple's Waze-like navigation system creates routes based on user ratings, real-time accident...

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published an Apple application for a method of generating car travel routes based on user preference and crowd-sourced real-time traffic data.

Route
Source: USPTO


Much like the popular crowd-sourced navigation app Waze, which was recently acquired by Google, Apple's "User-specified route rating and alerts" patent filing generates custom routing information based on user input. As described, the system pertains to cellular-enabled mobile devices with built-in GPS components, like an iPhone or iPad.

Unique to the application is a built-in system that allows users to assign a number rating to a route just traveled, which is then sent to a central navigation service that generates separate routes for other users based on the information.

In order to operate efficiently, the system relies on a rating database that stores user ratings for both routes and specific locations, which can be pushed to other users' devices if so configured.

Walking through an example process, the patent application notes users will start the navigation engine by selecting a route with start and end points. The system will generate an ideal route based on user preferences, filtering out unwanted configurations. For example, a user may want to take a "scenic" route, or one that has a minimum number of star ratings from other users.

As a user drives, they can initiate alerts at any given point along their selected route. Along with positioning data, other information can be added, like approximate alert duration, type of alert, and whether an alert area should be avoided. If there are multiple entries for a given location, the central navigation service will aggregate them accordingly based on proximity.

Route
Alert reporting.


Once in the database, these alerts can be presented to other drivers when necessary, or when a device is within predefined threshold distance. For example, a poorly rated location or accident will only be displayed on a user's device if they are within five miles of the incident.

When a user comes to the end of their specified route, the system presents a rating interface based on either numbers or stars. This information is used to generate new routes, or parts of routes, for other users.

Route
Illustration of end of route screen and rating graphic.


The implementations described are very close to those already in use by crowd-sourced apps like Waze, which supports not only accident reporting, but current average speeds and social networking assets as well.

It is unclear if Apple will one day include the crowd-sourced alert and route rating system into its Maps app, though the number of iOS devices in use could make for a robust network if deployed correctly.

Apple's route rating patent application was first filed for in December 2011 and credits Jorge S. Fino as its inventor.
post #2 of 37
I'm wondering how this will affect Google's acquisition of Waze. It seems that the application date is too late to shut down Waze, but I'll bet Apple can extract licensing fees for some features.

When Google bought Waze, I not only deleted the app, but I also made sure I deleted my account. I'm OK with giving up my location to help other drivers in the area, but not to be hassled by cloying Google ads.
post #3 of 37
If you read the claims of the patent application, you'll see that this application requires asking the user to rate a route after they reach their destination.
Someone that uses Waze, let us know if It does this.
post #4 of 37
I can see apple implementing this. When you reach your destination, a window pops up that says, "rate this route".
It's actually a really good idea. If someone got led astray, they will be pissed and the ability to give feedback will assuage their anger.
post #5 of 37

I really feel, Google acquired Waze onto to stop Apple doing so.

post #6 of 37

Even though it's just a few assessments and a few clicks, it seems like the user is being asked to care about other drivers a whole lot more than I'm used to seeing.

post #7 of 37
Oh great, another amazing patent with broad sweeping and exciting possibilities that will probably never see the light of day in an Apple product because they're too scared to implement it (in any true usable or functional way anyway) because maybe 1 out of 50 people might have a slight learning curve with it. Maybe if Android does it (which might actually happen since the waze acquisition) and enough fans complain about the lack of it on iOS then Apple might consider doing it in a watered down way. Meh, they have some of the most amazing patents and it's just maddening to see them go to waste. Wish they would start manning up.
post #8 of 37

Seems like a lot user interaction required while driving. In a time when there is a big push against texting and driving, it seems like this needs to be adjusted more towards hands free. Perhaps if you are not moving for a certain amount of time or you go off the routed course, Siri will ask if everything is ok and wait for a verbal reply.

 

 

 

A hypothetical Siri conversation.

SIRI: "I have noticed you diverted from the route, is everything ok?"

 

DRIVER: "No."

 

SIRI: "Is there an accident, road construction, traffic or an ex girlfriend's house?"

 

DRIVER: "ha ha ha ha.......traffic."

 

SIRI: "Did I say something funny?"

TechnoMinds

We are a Montreal based technology company that offers a variety of tech services such as tech support for Apple products, Drupal based website development, computer training and iCloud...

Reply

TechnoMinds

We are a Montreal based technology company that offers a variety of tech services such as tech support for Apple products, Drupal based website development, computer training and iCloud...

Reply
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by itpromike View Post

Oh great, another amazing patent with broad sweeping and exciting possibilities that will probably never see the light of day in an Apple product because they're too scared to implement it (in any true usable or functional way anyway) because maybe 1 out of 50 people might have a slight learning curve with it. Maybe if Android does it (which might actually happen since the waze acquisition) and enough fans complain about the lack of it on iOS then Apple might consider doing it in a watered down way. Meh, they have some of the most amazing patents and it's just maddening to see them go to waste. Wish they would start manning up.

There ARE two options you know, instead of just copying!!

 

1. Innovate like apple and find a better way to do it

 

2. Ask apple nicely for a license to the patent, and pay for the license!! (The problem for these other companies is this! They want to give things away for free, so they have no choice but to steal instead of paying the licensing fees). 

 

As a software developer I hate this free nonsense! Any cars being sold for free out there? or staplers? or homes? music? movies? or anything infact! Why should software be free? It can be cheap, the price can be a downright steal, but free it shouldn't be. Too many developers suffering because people have gotten used to getting free software out there!

post #10 of 37
I always thought that reporting accident during your drive is too manual of a task. If you are using maps and are on a highway and going much slower then posted limit shouldnt it be a safe bet that there is an accident when you look at it with croud sourcing point of view. If 10 people are going slower then its gotta be an accident.

I just think needing to report an accident is to manual and apple can make a better system.
post #11 of 37

"If you read the claims of the patent application, you'll see that this application requires asking the user to rate a route after they reach their destination.

Someone that uses Waze, let us know if It does this."

 

No, Waze doesn't ask you to rate the route after driving it.  It monitors users' speeds so it can determine how long the route took without having to ask input from the user.

 

Also, when presenting you with route options, it shows which routes already have congestion, and approximately where the congestion is located.

post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ny3ranger View Post

I always thought that reporting accident during your drive is too manual of a task. If you are using maps and are on a highway and going much slower then posted limit shouldnt it be a safe bet that there is an accident when you look at it with croud sourcing point of view. If 10 people are going slower then its gotta be an accident.

I just think needing to report an accident is to manual and apple can make a better system.

Agreed.

 

There are some times when I wouldn't mind tagging slowdown as a construction area or an accident, but it would have to be a quick and easy process. If I look at the map and see that 30 miles down the road, the traffic is backed up, it might be nice to know if the cause is road work or a fender-bender. A fender bender could be cleaned up relatively quickly where as road construction might continue for days.

 

It would be nice if construction zones were reported by the construction company or car accidents by the police so they are automatically tagged on the map. When the accident is cleaned up, that could be immediately reflected on the map as well.

 

I agree though, I am most interested in how fast the traffic is flowing than anything else.

post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

I'm wondering how this will affect Google's acquisition of Waze. It seems that the application date is too late to shut down Waze, but I'll bet Apple can extract licensing fees for some features.

When Google bought Waze, I not only deleted the app, but I also made sure I deleted my account. I'm OK with giving up my location to help other drivers in the area, but not to be hassled by cloying Google ads.

 

Extract licensing fees for what features?  

 

As for cloying ads, Apple will be feeding them to you, instead.  They're not investing millions and millions of dollars on their mapping software to protect you from ads.

post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by itpromike View Post

Oh great, another amazing patent with broad sweeping and exciting possibilities that will probably never see the light of day in an Apple product because they're too scared to implement it (in any true usable or functional way anyway) because maybe 1 out of 50 people might have a slight learning curve with it. Maybe if Android does it (which might actually happen since the waze acquisition) and enough fans complain about the lack of it on iOS then Apple might consider doing it in a watered down way. Meh, they have some of the most amazing patents and it's just maddening to see them go to waste. Wish they would start manning up.

Maybe when they get their HQ built they can expand into more areas. And their data center network built out about twice what it is now.

I have the impression from their problems "manning up" with Siri and Maps that they are already at the limit of their resources, in terms of facilities and personnel. This company has grown maybe faster than any in history in a complex field, and it won't do to just stamp your feet to make them do what you want. Patience is required. It's an old concept from days gone by when things used to take time . . .
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Maybe when they get their HQ built they can expand into more areas. And their data center network built out about twice what it is now.

I have the impression from their problems "manning up" with Siri and Maps that they are already at the limit of their resources, in terms of facilities and personnel. This company has grown maybe faster than any in history in a complex field, and it won't do to just stamp your feet to make them do what you want. Patience is required. It's an old concept from days gone by when things used to take time . . .

Agreed. Maps is a good example of making the mistake of rushing something to market before it's ready. The level of scrutiny Apple is subjected to is far higher than someone like Google (who is allowed to release products that are instant flops without any negative publicity). Apple tends to take existing technology and simplify it to the point that the average user understands the value of it and actually uses it.
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotScott View Post

Even though it's just a few assessments and a few clicks, it seems like the user is being asked to care about other drivers a whole lot more than I'm used to seeing.

Perhaps. But it could also be useful to the individual. For instance, near me there are several main freeways that are down to one lane for road construction, and it's an ongoing summer-long thing. It would be nice to permanently tag it so I always get re-routed.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

Seems like a lot user interaction required while driving. In a time when there is a big push against texting and driving, it seems like this needs to be adjusted more towards hands free. Perhaps if you are not moving for a certain amount of time or you go off the routed course, Siri will ask if everything is ok and wait for a verbal reply.



Yeah this seems perfect for Siri.

I just saw my first Siri car ad the other day. It was using the old voice, of course.
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by crapplingpain View Post

Extract licensing fees for what features?  

As for cloying ads, Apple will be feeding them to you, instead.  They're not investing millions and millions of dollars on their mapping software to protect you from ads.

Odd I do not see any ads in any other currently released Apple product. Apple let's developers use ads in their products, but Apple has not placed ads in its own.

This will change with iTunes Radio, but the ads are necessary to pay for the music if you elect the free streaming option.

I will be terribly surprised to see Apple use ads in its mapping product. Apple just wants to sell hardware.
post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post


Odd I do not see any ads in any other currently released Apple product. Apple let's developers use ads in their products, but Apple has not placed ads in its own.

This will change with iTunes Radio, but the ads are necessary to pay for the music if you elect the free streaming option.

I will be terribly surprised to see Apple use ads in its mapping product. Apple just wants to sell hardware.

Give it time.  They'll start providing ad spots in map search results and/or highlighting certain businesses on maps.  Building maps and acquiring mapping companies and data without monetizing it is a terribly inefficient way to sell hardware.

post #20 of 37
The whole maps debacle could have been avoided if Apple had only added one word to the software's title: beta. Apple maps beta.

If your software has some kinks call it a beta.

Regarding ads I suggest the map app work perfectly until you are deep into the trip. Then it forces you to watch a commercial in order to find out how to go the rest of the way.
post #21 of 37
If Apple uses ads in maps I would imagine it would be in the form of identifying places on your route. A McDonalds logo showing you the location of one of their restaurants for example.
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamnemani View Post

There ARE two options you know, instead of just copying!!

 

1. Innovate like apple and find a better way to do it

 

2. Ask apple nicely for a license to the patent, and pay for the license!! (The problem for these other companies is this! They want to give things away for free, so they have no choice but to steal instead of paying the licensing fees). 

 

As a software developer I hate this free nonsense! Any cars being sold for free out there? or staplers? or homes? music? movies? or anything infact! Why should software be free? It can be cheap, the price can be a downright steal, but free it shouldn't be. Too many developers suffering because people have gotten used to getting free software out there!

 

His complaint was that Apple itself would not make good use of its own patents.

 

I generally dont like most software patents because the majority try to patent fairly obvious things with the goal of obstructing others.

 

In Apples case, most of their patents lately very much patent things other people not only have come up with, but already have implemented and running in a product.

 

Apple uses them to browbeat small fish.  Even if you know prior art exists and the patent is bunk, nobody wants to go to court and fight Apples lawyers.  The exceptions would be companies with big legal teams or tech that could prove the patents are bunk.  Once proven bunk the patents are invalid so its a little game they play of not using patents likely to be invalidated against companies with the clout to do it.

 

This patent would get laughed at if they tried to use it against Waze or Google, and would have a high chance of being invalidated.  If Im a startup on a shoestring budget I dont have time or resources to fight Apple in court so I automatically lose.

post #23 of 37

Not to be too much of a downer, but Apple still needs to realise that most people around the world don't drive cars, and it's far more important to get transit information into their maps application, than it is to be constantly tweaking the perfection of traffic info for gas guzzling Americans living in California.  This is American navel-gazing at it's worst.  

 

Transit info, bike routes, & walking directions all completely suck in Apple maps.  They are practically non-existent in my town.  

 

I have at least a dozen friends who travel around town exclusively by bicycle and regularly send info in to the Apple maps people about bike routes and pedestrian areas.  

It's been over a year now and *none* of this information has shown up on the maps app.

None of it.

 

There is more to the world than the US of A and the freeways of southern California.

 

Get it together Apple.

post #24 of 37
The rating at the end is a big dumb unless it is optional. A smart system should know how about the stops, traffic lights, slow traffic etc. and be able to use heuristics to determine how efficient the trip was. Just look at a lot of people going from and to similar places and see how they did going different routes at different times of the day. Over time that will build up the kind of data base that Waze has and won't require any user feed back. In fact I suspect that Apple is doing this right now (or should be).
post #25 of 37
The best way for Apple's routing system to learn is to watch when users don't go the suggested route but still get to the destination in a reasonable amount of time. If many users skip one section of the suggested route and go another way, that means that the suggestion is bad and the routing system should use the preferred route for everyone. There is a section like this when I drive from San Jose to Sacramento. It takes you off the freeway and onto a local street with traffic lights. I guess it may save a mile or two but the frustration of dealing with those lights and lane changes on a local street makes staying on the freeway a much better choice so I always skip that suggestion.
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post

His complaint was that Apple itself would not make good use of its own patents.

I generally dont like most software patents because the majority try to patent fairly obvious things with the goal of obstructing others.

In Apples case, most of their patents lately very much patent things other people not only have come up with, but already have implemented and running in a product.

Apple uses them to browbeat small fish.  Even if you know prior art exists and the patent is bunk, nobody wants to go to court and fight Apples lawyers.  The exceptions would be companies with big legal teams or tech that could prove the patents are bunk.  Once proven bunk the patents are invalid so its a little game they play of not using patents likely to be invalidated against companies with the clout to do it.

This patent would get laughed at if they tried to use it against Waze or Google, and would have a high chance of being invalidated.  If Im a startup on a shoestring budget I dont have time or resources to fight Apple in court so I automatically lose.

You act as though Waze wouldn't defend it's IP. Only Apple sues right?
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

The best way for Apple's routing system to learn is to watch when users don't go the suggested route but still get to the destination in a reasonable amount of time. If many users skip one section of the suggested route and go another way, that means that the suggestion is bad and the routing system should use the preferred route for everyone. There is a section like this when I drive from San Jose to Sacramento. It takes you off the freeway and onto a local street with traffic lights. I guess it may save a mile or two but the frustration of dealing with those lights and lane changes on a local street makes staying on the freeway a much better choice so I always skip that suggestion.

I agree. I have used waze but never reported speed traps or accidents or really anything. I did report a few errors on Apple maps a year ago but they still have not been corrected.  I don't think you can reply on user reporting. A better way would be for Apple maps to just monitor your speed and other data automatically and make smart adjustments. But still allow for manual reporting as well for those kind souls that actually do report problems. 

 

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. 

Reply

 

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. 

Reply
post #28 of 37
This seems like a natural fit for iOS in the car. This type of data could be very efficiently gathered using Siri.

I doubt this will show up on the iPhone.
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmason1270 View Post


You act as though Waze wouldn't defend it's IP. Only Apple sues right?

 

False!  But my point was that Apple is pretty smart about who they sue and that they would NOT sue waze with this patent which Apple applied for after Waze already had a similar (actually superior) method in use in its product.  Apple would be more likely to use it to prevent smaller competitors via litigation.

post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

The whole maps debacle could have been avoided if Apple had only added one word to the software's title: beta. Apple maps beta.

If your software has some kinks call it a beta.

Regarding ads I suggest the map app work perfectly until you are deep into the trip. Then it forces you to watch a commercial in order to find out how to go the rest of the way.

 

I disagree.  Taking away a working option and replacing it with an option that still has kinks is rarely going to go over well regardless of calling it a beta or not.  I think the whole maps debacle could have been avoided if Apple had chosen to use a parallel installation process instead of the direct installation process they ended up going with.

post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbriton View Post

If Apple uses ads in maps I would imagine it would be in the form of identifying places on your route. A McDonalds logo showing you the location of one of their restaurants for example.

Yes, I believe that's what Google does.  

post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Not to be too much of a downer, but Apple still needs to realise that most people around the world don't drive cars, and it's far more important to get transit information into their maps application, than it is to be constantly tweaking the perfection of traffic info for gas guzzling Americans living in California.  This is American navel-gazing at it's worst.  

Transit info, bike routes, & walking directions all completely suck in Apple maps.  They are practically non-existent in my town.  

I have at least a dozen friends who travel around town exclusively by bicycle and regularly send info in to the Apple maps people about bike routes and pedestrian areas.  
It's been over a year now and *none* of this information has shown up on the maps app.
None of it.

There is more to the world than the US of A and the freeways of southern California.

Get it together Apple.

Do you have statistics showing the majority of Apple's customers don't drive cars?

Your constant bashing of American self-centeredness gets kinda old. Apple is a multi-national company, but they're still an American company and are always going to have American attitudes regarding things.

Regardless, I understand what you're saying about the slowness to upgrade. But that's universal, not just non-car info. It's easy to say Apple should just hire a few thousand people to work on Maps... but that likely wouldn't make sense from a fiscal standpoint.
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ny3ranger View Post

I always thought that reporting accident during your drive is too manual of a task. If you are using maps and are on a highway and going much slower then posted limit shouldnt it be a safe bet that there is an accident when you look at it with croud sourcing point of view. If 10 people are going slower then its gotta be an accident.

I just think needing to report an accident is to manual and apple can make a better system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

The rating at the end is a big dumb unless it is optional. A smart system should know how about the stops, traffic lights, slow traffic etc. and be able to use heuristics to determine how efficient the trip was. Just look at a lot of people going from and to similar places and see how they did going different routes at different times of the day. Over time that will build up the kind of data base that Waze has and won't require any user feed back. In fact I suspect that Apple is doing this right now (or should be).
Yes I think smart sensing plus a optimal "report a traffic problem" should be there and at end "rate this route?" Popup for 10 seconds.
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

I really feel, Google acquired Waze onto to stop Apple doing so.

It's safe to say most acquisitions are to prevent the competition from getting it.
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post

 

His complaint was that Apple itself would not make good use of its own patents.

 

I generally dont like most software patents because the majority try to patent fairly obvious things with the goal of obstructing others.

 

In Apples case, most of their patents lately very much patent things other people not only have come up with, but already have implemented and running in a product.

 

Apple uses them to browbeat small fish.  Even if you know prior art exists and the patent is bunk, nobody wants to go to court and fight Apples lawyers.  The exceptions would be companies with big legal teams or tech that could prove the patents are bunk.  Once proven bunk the patents are invalid so its a little game they play of not using patents likely to be invalidated against companies with the clout to do it.

 

This patent would get laughed at if they tried to use it against Waze or Google, and would have a high chance of being invalidated.  If Im a startup on a shoestring budget I dont have time or resources to fight Apple in court so I automatically lose.

Really?  Its not even a granted patent yet.  How could you possibly predict the validity of a patent that isn't granted?

Secondly, Apple does not use its patents to beat down small companies.  If Apple likes a companies technology, they buy the company and bring the people in house.  They did it with touch gesture recognition, ARM design optimization, fingerprint sensor technology, etc.  Apple is about the best large company I can think of when it comes to treating small companies fairly.  They don't buy companies very often, but they don't rip them off either...maybe you were thinking of Google. 

post #36 of 37

I have never been a google fan, and if Apple has a new service similar to waze, the timing couldn't be better now that google owns waze.

 

From the images, a Mac OS (i.e. pre OS X) interface would just be icing on the cake!

post #37 of 37
Marginally related and not a solution offered by either Apple or Google:

"Garmin unveiled a new portable head-up display (HUD) for smartphone navigation apps. The display projects directions onto a transparent film on the windshield or an attached reflector lens.

The display receives navigation information from a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone running a Garmin StreetPilot or NAVIGON app. Head-up displays have been around for years but have so far failed to gain mainstream adoption, mostly because of high costs. It remains to be seen how Garmin’s new after-market device performs."

List price is $129.99, which seems fair if the product works as described.
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/prod134348.html
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple's Waze-like navigation system creates routes based on user ratings, real-time accident reporting