Waze adds voice control and motorbike mode

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Google's Waze goes hands-free with new voice command and gets motorcycle mode for tailored navigation

The navigation app has added voice control so you can ask questions or change your destination as you drive without taking your hands off the wheel.

Now, if you allow Waze to access your device's microphone from within the settings menu, the entire navigation can be carried out hands-free by using the "OK, Waze" command. Once you do, you'll begin seeing routes that have been optimized for people traveling by motorcycle, based on routes that fellow bikers have taken in the past. This new feature is rolling out globally via the Waze app. There are three oft-requested features rolling out with this update, and they all center around making Waze a more personalized experience.

In addition to the Waze voice commands, the app is also adding support for carpool lanes and a motorcycle mode, which includes streets that a bike could fit down, but a vehicle can't. To activate Talk to Waze, just follow these steps: Settings Sound & voice Talk to Waze Shift Listen for "OK Waze" on.

However, riders will get a dedicated set of features including more accurate ETA times that may be different to drivers because of the ability to manoeuvre through traffic and being notified of smaller roads that can be driven on, but are too narrow for cars. Not only is it convenient, it's safer, allowing you to stay focused on the road ahead.

The Waze voice commands certainly provide some much-needed information without having to actually touch a device.

Lastly, new is HOV (high occupancy vehicle) route support, which Waze says is the first for any navigation app. Talk to Waze is launching in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, and New Zealand with English as the only supported language, though Waze assures us that more languages are coming online shortly. If you're driving a fuel-efficient auto, go to Settings, tap Navigation, and select Vehicle Type.

HOV route support is now open to Wazers in 22 markets across the U.S. (full list below), and in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. If you're carpooling, you'll need to go into Settings Navigation Add Toll/HOV pass and then select from a list of available passes in your area.

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