Coyote vs Waze: we compared the driving assistance applications, the premium in decline?

Who I am
Aina Prat
Author and references
  • A Coyote "universe" found on Android Auto
  • Some figures to know
  • When the Waze community predominantly wins
  • Waze is a much more versatile application
  • Coyote vs. Waze: the verdict of Itopdroid

Long journeys to reach (in particular) our holiday resorts are always an opportunity to take an interest in driving assistance applications. If Waze is now known and adopted by a very large community, the Coyote service is also continuing its path. We took advantage of our holidays in Portugal to compare these two services over a few thousand kilometers.

We recently tested the Coyote application on Android Auto, it is now time to do a “versus” of the two tenors that are Waze and Coyote. To compare the two services, we crossed Spain, direction Portugal.

Read also :
We tested Coyote on Android Auto: do you have to buy into it before you hit the road?

A Coyote "universe" found on Android Auto

The two services have been shown to be rather timid in Portugal. According to locals, mobile phone plans including unlimited data were far too expensive and membership in Coyote, a paid service too, was not a priority. Result: respective Portuguese communities that are quite poor. But things are moving slowly in the north and center of the country, mostly in Waze's favor.

There are subjects on which Coyote's service remains THE benchmark, namely fixed speed camera alerts. In this case, in Portugal (as in Spain), these are still designated in this way and not as our politically correct "danger zones".

The control device is materialized on the map at its precise location. On this point, no doubt, Coyote largely wins our preference, for a simple reason: as long as you drive too fast when approaching the radar, an alert (a not very pleasant beep) is heard to encourage you to ease off. . This will avoid the famous and annoying 135 km / h instead of 130 km / h. The same is true for danger zones in Spain, except that they extend over 4 km where an alert in Spain or Portugal is made some 500 meters upstream.

On the Waze side, again the radar is materialized at its exact location, but the pictogram is smaller and more discreet than at Coyote. And here, no overspeed warning on approach. A difference in operation that also applies to section radars, as we have seen them in Spain. As long as you are moving in the zone, the Coyote app basically tells you on the screen the speed to be respected and the length of the zone. In case of exceeding, there too, a beep is heard.

Waze alerts you once, then nothing. Finally, not exactly: a progress bar does appear on the left side of the screen to materialize the section speed camera zones, but it is not as effective as the sound alert of the Coyote app.

Some figures to know

We tell you bluntly, subscribing to the Coyote application is far from being a mistake, whether it is a monthly commitment or an annual fee that will be amortized on the first offense. The rates are shown in the image below. Remember that the Extend formulas allow you to use the app on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Anyway, despite the following observation, we remain convinced that the two applications can be complementary if you have the budget.

Credit Coyote Group

If we tend to recommend a subscription on mobile, Coyote told us that boxes still represent two-thirds of subscriptions. Maybe not for a very long time, as the app represents the biggest growth. The Coyote community has 5 million users in Europe and, according to the company, more than 80% of them are active daily. On average, the service would record 13 alerts per second across Europe. The detailed figures for Spain will not have been communicated to us. In fact, the company does not communicate at all on the communities by country. It's like that, even if it's a shame. And if we said in our first article that we have to fear that the Coyote community is crumbling due to the success of Waze, for Kevin Vaney, this is incorrect: “The number of scouts is maintained. The market for physical boxes that we sell has reached maturity, which is why we are working on new avenues to continue to appeal to our users and to reach others. There is great potential on the mobile application side and we can see it in the subscriptions taken out by our users. Nevertheless, we will continue to work on the evolution of our dedicated units, in particular to meet the needs of road professionals, but not only. », Specifies the press relations officer of Coyote.

Credit Waze

For its part, Waze claims 14 million users in Spain alone. This growing community allows Waze to provide more and more precise studies on the movements of its users. The same goes for Coyote, also an aggregator and data provider for third parties.

When the Waze community predominantly wins

Beyond all this data, there is the reality on the ground. If in Spain the Coyote community is still very active, our experience shows that the Wazers are now taking precedence over the Coyote scouts, especially here on the roads of Portugal.

Even if the Coyote application did not miss all the dangers on the road, examples in favor of Waze have multiplied over the nearly 5 km of test (including 000 km in Portugal). In the photo below, we are approaching a broken down vehicle, signaled well upstream by Waze.

No alert is relayed by Coyote at this time to warn us of the accident and the slowdown. We have to correct the shooting with a few clicks on the Coyote app, and unfortunately for this one, examples of the genre have been so numerous on our journeys that we could make an entire photo slideshow of it.

Above, another example of an event well reported on Waze but not on Coyote. Likewise, where Waze clearly signals the work area, nothing can be found on Coyote. Ditto below, where the accident zone is only declared by Waze, which also indicates the presence of the police a little further.

In the capture below, the absence of a Coyote scout means that we would completely miss the presence of a vehicle stopped on the side… Fortunately, we were able to count on the Wazers. Again, it will only take a few clicks to correct this, as the good scout that we are.

The massive influx, from the first week of August, of Spanish, Belgian, Luxembourgish and Swiss tourists enabled the Coyote application to improve in quality. In the photo opposite, 50 scouts would be around us.

An interesting score, which represents almost double the users observed over the previous weeks. This increase sometimes allows the Coyote community to do better than that of Waze, as we can see below: no alert is emitted by Waze, while Coyote displays the stopped vehicle in large size on our mobile screen. on the lower side.

The readability of the speed to respect is one of the other strong points of Coyote, where Waze displays a small bubble not always very easy to read. With the added bonus of indicating the number of scouts who confirmed the alert, as well as the associated period. This makes a real difference for the driver, who always wants to know more about the indications delivered in real time.

Consequence in this case: all we have to do is validate the alert on Coyote and, at the same time, declare it on the Waze application. For the latter, we could have used voice control, but this would not have been possible on the Coyote application since voice recognition is not yet available.

Overall, on Portuguese roads the Waze application has proven to be more efficient and reliable during these three weeks and 3 kilometers of testing. Especially during the last two weeks of July when the community, visibly foreign, was still absent.

In August, due to the presence of tourists from Spain and the Benelux, it happened that the experience was reversed and the expertise of the Coyote community took over. Above is a photo showing Coyote's report of a mobile speed camera for the second time, but missing from the Waze app. Hey yes, these scouts have an eye to identify the small box against the green background of the landscape! On the other hand, Waze does signal the presence of the police in the distance.

Waze is a much more versatile application

To conclude this duel, let's finally take a look at the navigation functions of the two applications. If Coyote is above all a brand known for its driving assistance tools, we must not (in our opinion) lose sight of the fact that the firm must also jointly develop its guidance functions offered on the mobile application and the boxes. called "Nav". A point on which we discussed a lot with the company which welcomed our feedback, but which also specifies an important point for them: Coyote focuses its efforts on "alerting", its DNA.

In fact, the first criticism that can be made with the Coyote application - which some would see as an advantage - lies in its very minimalist display. Whether it's on the mobile app or Android Auto, the mapping design on Coyote looks really dated. Information about the streets and roads around us is very… very limited. Do not expect to use it to find your way, at least not in a village in northern Portugal like ours. And if Waze does not have all the street names of the town, the app does all the same better by displaying much more information on the said places or the main roads.

And what about the route planning options, which are much more detailed on Waze? Coyote naturally offers several routes to reach your destination. The app also suggests avoiding highways, tolls or unpaved roads, but don't rely on it to give you an idea of ​​the cost of tolls. Waze does, and goes even further by sometimes automatically offering to drive a few more minutes to lower the cost of tolls. On the other hand, we cannot say that the costs are exact to the nearest penny. Especially in Portugal where, in addition to the traditional tolls, the famous porticoes called "SCUT" are added. On certain highways, these can sometimes increase the bill by several euros.

There are also features exclusive to Waze, such as sharing a ride with a loved one. Even more interesting in the context of vacations in "discovery" mode, the possibility of clicking on a point on the map to get there. A function that we are particularly fond of to move from one beach or forest spot to another without worrying about the addresses. We zoom out, we observe, we click and let's go!

Finally, we also noticed that Waze was the only one of two applications to alert us to a specificity linked to the IP4 express channel, very common in our region. On this, it is compulsory to turn on the dipped headlights, including daytime running lights. Admittedly, a panel is present at each entry on the IP4, but this small visual and audible alert (a small ding is heard) is welcome. This is a point on which Coyote could work with its mapping partner Here (which has all this information at its base) to complete its driving assistance functions.

Likewise, the option of calculating the route based on your desired arrival time is a little gimmick available on Waze that can be quite handy. Not foolproof, especially in the Paris region during rush hour, but practical. You will also have noticed: during our test, we were not able to assess the quality of the traffic information on these two applications. We did not encounter any traffic jam large enough to generate specific route calculations.

Coyote vs. Waze: the verdict of Itopdroid

As you will have understood, the foreign community had to share the roads of Portugal with us for the alerts on Coyote to be more numerous and (sometimes much) more effective. If neither of the two apps has been faultless over the thousands of kilometers traveled, we are comfortable saying that the Wazers are generally one step ahead on Portuguese territory.

Likewise, the Waze application is also intended to be more versatile, more aesthetic and richer in features. Some might just prefer Coyote for its ease of use, but that's not really our case. A point that we again shared with the communications manager, who explained to us that many changes will enrich the experience of the scouts. But the company does not yet seem to have decided to turn away from its primary profession, which are alerts linked to “driving aids”.

We are rather the type to always want more, especially on a paid application…. And you, what do you think ?

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