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In-Car GPS, Waze & Google Maps: Which Gets You To Your Destination Faster?

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–We have so many choices for GPS directions these days, and we all have our favorites. But do you ever wonder if another system would get you there faster? Traffic reporter Meisha Johnson put some GPS systems to a friendly test.

The three drivers: Meisha, stylist Sina Marie Washington, and Dan Weckerly of the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board. Final destination: Central Park, Doylestown.

Sina Marie used her usual app, Google. Dan used his favorite, Waze. Meisha used a built-in GPS.

Each system gave a different route. Google Maps was mostly highway: I-76 Schuylkill Expressway to the Pennsylvania Turnpike to PA 309 North. Waze’s route suggested taking the Schuylkill, exiting at Lincoln Drive, and snaking through the residential neighborhood of Chestnut Hill on the way to 309 North. Meisha’s GPS suggested taking PA 611 almost all the way to Doylestown.

Meisha’s GPS gave her an estimated trip time of 51 minutes, Google’s route estimated 52 minutes, and Waze estimated 53 minutes.

Waze, a newer app, combines traditional GPS with tips from fellow drivers, which appeals to Dan.

“You’ve got thousands of people on the road,” Dan said. “They’re looking out for things, police accidents, police activity, potholes, all that kind of stuff.”

As Dan drove through Chestnut Hill, he said, “I am fairly convinced I would not be able to find this without help.”

Sina Marie, using Google, hit some traffic as she went up I-76 westbound. “Slowing down,” she said.

Once traffic got flowing again, she had to stop on the turnpike to pay a toll. Would it take a toll on her time?

After driving for about 30 minutes, Meisha was still on 611, but things were turning her way. “Now we have a lot of green lights. Now we’re kind of moving,” she said.

Using Waze, Dan was making perfect time. “Waze has been not only scenic and efficient but dead-on accurate,” he said.

His estimated arrival time was 10:40 am, and he pulled in right on time.

“Not that it’s a race, but ha, we’re first!” Dan said.

Google Maps was not far behind. Sina Marie arrived five minutes after Dan.

She jokingly blamed the app: “Google, I had to pay a toll,” Sina Marie said.

Near the finish line, Meisha’s installed GPS told her to turn a different way than she expected.

“Might have gotten just a little bit turned around,” Meisha said. “We’ll find out.”

While they waited, Dan told Sina Marie, “I had the cheapest, fastest, most scenic route.”

Meisha was last to arrive. Dan told Meisha he got there first. “It gave us a 10:40 arrival time and bam, we were here at 10:40,” he said, praising the Waze app.

Meisha said to Sina Marie, “And you’re going to get it today.”

Sina Marie laughed. “Absolutely. Like, immediately.”

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