Waze today announced it is rolling out three new features in its popular crowdsourced navigation app for iOS and Android, the most notable of which is support for high occupancy vehicle lanes, also known as carpool lanes.
If you are driving with at least one passenger, or have a hybrid or electric vehicle with a special permit, Waze will now take carpool lanes on highways into consideration when determining your optional route.
If you are carpooling, the feature can enabled under Navigation > Add Toll/HOV pass within Waze's in-app settings. If you have a fuel-efficient vehicle, it can be selected as an option under Navigation > Vehicle Type.
Carpool lane support is initially available to Waze users in 22 states across the United States, and in the Canadian cities of Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. More cities in the United States and Canada will be added over time.
The states supported include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Washington D.C. is also supported.
Next, a new "OK Waze" voice command allows for true hands-free use, allowing drivers to initiate navigation, get a preview of the route ahead, send traffic-related reports, add stops along the way, and more while staying focused on the road ahead. The feature can be enabled under Sound & Voice > Talk to Waze > OK Waze.
Talk to Waze is initially available to English-speaking Waze users in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, and will continually roll out in more languages soon.
Last, Waze now supports motorcycles as a vehicle type. In this mode, motorcycle riders will be directed on routes optimized for motorcyclists. Waze says the more motorcyclists ride in this mode, the smarter the routing will become.
Waze is a free download on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone. Today's update doesn't appear to be available yet, although "OK Waze" functionality is working, so some changes may be implemented on the backend.