Talk:Australian Road Types & Naming

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(Redirected from Talk:Australian Road Names)

Using "City" names on highways

For many years we believed it was desirable that Major Highways (and Freeways) should not have the City name filled in, although there was no clear reason why. In 2020 we decided to change this practice, for the following reasons:

  • City names are needed on highways to expand the boundaries of Cities in remote areas, so that City names could be added to other streets in the area. (This applied to Nullarbor, Newman, Broken Hill etc)
  • City names are needed to get Residential Point Places to work. Using a City name in an alternative name to achieve this was problematic, as it could not be applied to segments where the main name did not have a City name.
  • City names are used in announcements such as ""Heavy traffic on <highway> near <City>" are not helpful if the City name is missing. Iainhouse advised that the UK does use City names on highways so that these announcements would be useful. See forum posting. Example: Tower Bridge
  • City names are used on Highways and Freeways in the US. Example: Brooklyn Bridge

With multiple reasons for having City names on highways, and no apparent problems being caused where this is already done, we decided to change to having City names on all navigable segments, including highways, freeways, and ramps.

Road Naming

The principles applied to road naming take into account the following:

  • Turn instructions in the app use the main street name - this is why we try to use what is most commonly seen.
  • Address lookups can use any of the names, including the alternative ones - this is why we add alternate names; to help users find the address they are looking for.

Notes on default speeds for various road types

(This is an evolving record of my understanding of default speeds. It contains conjecture, but may evolve into something that can become part of the main Wiki article.)

  • Waze sets a default average speed for road segments when they are first generated. When drivers use the road with Waze running, Waze updates the average speed based on the speeds it sees
  • Waze probably records the elapsed time to traverse each segment and make each turn at the end, although we usually refer to it as recording the speed rather than the time. One implication is that it only needs to know the time at the start and end of the segment; loss of GPS coverage in the middle (as in a tunnel, for example) shouldn't matter.
  • If Waze doesn't have a server connection at the (?beginning and?) end of the segment, it won't be able to update its record of the elapsed time for the segment. (Subject to whatever buffering of data it does when it doesn't have a connection to the server - which appears to be minimal.) This means the average speed for the segment may never get updated.
  • This presents problems in remote areas with no mobile coverage. Segments may have unrealistically low average speeds, resulting in much higher estimates of travel times, and sometimes selection of a longer route which in reality is slower.
  • The default speeds for the various road types, based on the Route Speeds script, are:
Segment Type Default km/hr Comment
Narrow Street 20 May not represent actual implementation
Private Road 20
Street 20
Primary Street 30
Ramp 65 May depend on type of connecting roads
Minor Highway 65
Major Highway 75
Freeway 100

Some of these are unrealistically low - a country Minor Highway is likely to have an average speed well in excess of 65 km/hr. For example https://www.waze.com/editor/?env=row&lon=114.69867&lat=-28.62531&zoom=2&segments=264477048 is a Minor Highway but has an average speed of 100 km/hr.

  • the speed limit set at the time of segment creation has no effect on default average speed (tested on Freeways only).
  • the "unpaved" flag doesn't affect default speed (at least for Freeway and Major Highway)
  • the "preferred routing" flag doesn't affect default speed (at least Primary)
  • JustinS83 reports in Discord link 1 Discord link 2 that Waze uses Google traffic speed information as well. This doesn't seem to be the case in Australia. For example: Tarcowie to Orroroo: Waze route - 63 mins for 31.5 km, average speed 30 km/hr, just as we predict for Primary streets where there is no mobile coverage. Google route - 20 mins for 31.5 km, average speed 95 km/hr, which seems realistic for the road conditions. Waze doesn't seem to have taken advantage of the Google speed information. Similar situation for Walgett to Pilliga.

TTS Peculiarities

  • In rare cases where both routes are required, to ensure correct TTS the routes must be separated by a slash including spaces - "TRx / SRxx - Name". This should be discussed with your State Manager prior to using.
  • English and UK voices behave differently:
    • A E - UK will pronunce "A" "E", US will interpret as compass direction - A East
    • FE - UK will pronounce as word "Fay", US will spell - "F" E"

Alternate Names

@Ottolenga provided the the following definite answer regarding alternate names and their order: "For routing purposes, 'primary' and 'alternative' names are interchangeable. A segment S1 is considered to have the same name as segment S2, if any of the names of S1 is equal to any of the names of S2."

Mapping parking lot roads

The reason why we don't map every lane in a parking lot is:

  • the individual lanes in most parking lots do not have signed names/numbers
  • at slow speeds, Waze turn instructions are delivered about 50 metres before the intersection
  • individual lanes an a parking lot are about 17 metres apart, meaning that the driver can't be sure which lane to turn into
  • the GPS accuracy in our phones is not sufficient to determine which lane a driver is in

These four factors combined mean that lane-by-lane navigation in a parking lots isn't going to be very successful. If adding every lane doesn't improve usability, the second goal of Waze map editing (simplicity) comes into force. So, we don't map every lane in parking lots.