The apps I use on my iPad to get me around the NYC tri-state area are possessed. They are truly mad… and they make me pretty mad sometimes.

Don’t get me wrong: Maps on my iPad make my job so much easier than doing it the old-fashioned way. I can’t imagine trying to find a house at 4:00am in the backwoods of Sussex County with a paper Hagstrom multi-foldable map, a flashlight and prayer book!

Training with Routing Apps

When I train new chauffeurs, I show them all three of the app-based maps and ask which one they prefer. I also advise them to study the route before the passenger gets into their vehicle. This avoids the danger of driving while looking down at the map. This kind of distracted driving can have fatal consequences.

I also suggest that the trainees confirm the destination is consistent with the instructions on the job. Sometimes, if the map can’t locate the exact drop off address, it just drops you at the center of town or a designated area.

A Review of the Map Apps

I use three different map apps on my daily route, but I have to admit I prefer Waze because it tells you where the police are hiding.

Waze uses social media to have users report accidents, roadkill, live animals and other hazards on the road. I also like that Waze shows you three different ways to get to your destination, with and without tolls.

Waze gives you the choice to select the options with routes with no toll roads – but it does not show the address number or name of the street when you arrive, which I find frustrating!

Google Maps is also very effective. What I like about Google maps is that it shows you three different routes right on the overview map. The preferred route is in blue and the two “unchosen” routes are shown in gray. These two options usually take longer than the chosen route and do not pass through tolls.

Google Maps does show the number and street name when you reach the destination, which I like.

Apple Maps is clearly laid out and easy to follow. This is my default go to “i-Map” when I can’t get Google Maps or Waze.

My Unproven Theory

I have a theory about the maps on my iPad. When I’m trying to get to a destination, I’m often befuddled by the route the map takes me. Many times, the chosen route takes longer than an alternate route I would take.

Why is this? My theory is that the map apps make you drive by their advertisers, so you will patronize them! Most people I reveal this secret to agree that it makes sense… but again, my theory is as of yet unproven.

What I Wish

I wish these three different map apps would allow the user the freedom to dictate the route and show the ETA. This is because many times, the route I want to take is faster and makes more sense than the options offered.

The moral of this story is to use each of the i-Maps carefully and wisely. Plan ahead by actually studying the route and understanding why the path chosen is the best path possible before your passenger gets in your vehicle. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

Article by RH Stovall, Jr

R.H. Stovall, Jr. is a Senior Executive Chauffeur, trainer and mentor for Royal Coachman Worldwide in Denville, NJ.

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