I spend a lot of time driving around as a DoorDasher, and am wondering if I can mark accidents and speed traps as I cruise through different neighborhoods? I like the idea of being an on-the-spot Apple Maps traffic reporter!
Apple Maps is one of many crowdsourced services that use mapping to create a live, real-time map rather than just display the static information from the road and terrain database. Waze is probably the best known of these, but some of the radar detection services like Escort Radar offer crowdsourced speed trap and radar data that updates with the latest reports too. Of course, the local police department probably doesn’t want people sharing information about those sneaky officers poised behind billboards on the highway, but that’s no reason not to utilize the information and save yourself a speeding ticket!
What’s cool is that not only can you report accidents, speed traps, and hazards, but you can even do so through Siri, without needing to touch any device. Apple says: “Just say ‘There’s an accident up ahead’ or ‘There’s something on the road’ and Siri will file the incident for you. If an incident displayed on the map has been cleared, you can report that too, all while keeping your hands free and your focus on the road.”
REPORT AN INCIDENT WITHIN APPLE MAPS
Lots of the gig drivers I see have their iPhones in holders either on their dashboard or attached to the windshield, though I’m sure there are plenty more who have newer cars that support Apple CarPlay. I have the latter, so for this demo I’ll show how I use the touchscreen on my Mazda CX-5 (running CarPlay) to report incidents. The map display is almost identical to the full-screen view on the phone too.
To start out, just go to map view in Apple Maps, with your favorite tweaks and settings. For me, driving around downtown Longmont, Colorado, the view looks like this:
From this view, it’s not at all obvious how to report an incident or event. Tap on the screen, however, and it gets almost completely covered by windows and pop-ups:
So many options and places to look, it’s a pretty overloaded user experience, particularly given that we should be keeping our eyes on the road, not trying to decipher all the icons and graphics. Still, this isn’t about user interface design, this is about reporting a speed trap or hazard. And that’s done by tapping on the “!” icon on the right side. Tap on it and a different window pops up:
Let’s report something…
REPORT A SPEED CHECK TRAP IN APPLE MAPS
Apple hasn’t shared the stats, but my expectation is that reporting a “Speed Check” automatically expires after a certain amount of time, as would a “Crash” report. A “Hazard” probably stays until a user or two report that it’s cleared, and crash reports might also vanish if they’re reported as cleared by multiple people. If I did happen to notice a police officer sitting in the shade, checking people’s speed with a radar gun, I can easily tap on “Speed Check”:
Interestingly, I don’t recall ever getting warnings from Apple Maps that I’m near a speed check, but perhaps that’s just the areas where I drive? If you’ve seen one of these warnings, let me know if it was accurate in the comments!
REPORTING AN ACCIDENT IN APPLE MAPS
A speed check report doesn’t actually show up on the map, at least not immediately. Does it require more than a single person reporting it to appear? Accidents, however, show up almost immediately. I report an accident at the adjacent intersection… a tap on “Crash” and it confirms the report:
What’s cool is that the report then immediately shows up on the map:
Other Apple Maps users will be warned of the crash and prompted to confirm that it’s still present or whether it’s cleared or not. Once marked as cleared, the icon vanishes.
Between these options, you should be able to start your career as a street-level incident reported for Apple Maps while you’re doing your next deliveries. Good luck!
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing tutorials for the Apple iPhone since it was first released. Please check out my extensive iPhone help area for lots and lots of useful content.