Waze may get a competitor, patent shows

With the new universal navigation system, drivers would be less bothered with pop-ups and notifications.

Waze, an app that provides drivers with up-to-date information about traffic and road conditions, has around 140 million monthly users. The app became useful thanks to users who can send traffic reports, this way, the app can use this real-time data to provide drivers with the latest updates on traffic jams, accidents, road works, and more.

While a user-driven approach works for Waze, it has some disadvantages. The app encourages user interaction, meaning they can share their location with people on their friends list and communicate with them. However, all these icons and notifications popping up can become quite distracting.

In 2020, Peter Kulakov developed an alternative to Waze and obtained a patent, calling it a "Vehicle to vehicle event notification system and method."

The main catch of the new system is that it would work without user interference. This would be possible since a car would be equipped with hardware to detect road changes.

So cars would have "vehicle monitors," built-in or user-installed cameras or sensors that could record possible dangers on the road and then automatically send the information to the system to notify drivers.

Drivers would then be able to receive warnings about poor road conditions, accidents, roadworks, and other information similar to what Waze currently provides.

The new system would also work based on "trigger events." So if a driver suddenly stomps on a break or performs some other sudden maneuver, other nearby cars will be notified about this change.

While the patented idea could provide a more accurate and faster way to notify users about possible road obstacles, it requires all cars to have the system installed for it to work and be helpful. As with many patents, it's not guaranteed that the project will be implemented in reality.