Forbes: Better Than Google Maps Or Waze?
This New Navigation App Pulls Out All The Stops
While drivers have learned to rely on navigation apps for turn-by-turn directions and a whole lot more, it remains quite likely that no one app delivers everything you need in every situation.
To wit: Google Maps and Waze — two wildly popular navigation apps under Google’s umbrella — both offer plenty of features and have different strengths and weaknesses. A recent USA Today article suggests that travelers “enjoy both” and “mix and match.” But the last thing drivers need is to be switching back and forth between apps.
If you still haven’t found that utopian all-in-one app for getting from A to B, consider giving a brand new tool called Nexit a test drive. Launching today for iPhone (and soon for Android) with $10 million in funding, Nexit promises to be the “only all-in-one app for highway travelers” by helping drivers finding exactly what they want, exactly when they need it, on the road they are traveling.
Admittedly, Nexit is a David among Goliaths, but the app sets itself apart by tackling the pesky problem of deciding where to stop along the way.
Most notably, Nexit lets you customize a search by selecting multiple criteria at once, which is very handy when you’re looking for, say, a hotel under $125 a night that accept pets and has a gym, an indoor pool and free breakfast. Hungry? You can search for a favorite chain, type of food, dietary restrictions or options that have dine-in, drive-thru, take-out, open 24 hours, full bar, kids play area and more.
“We’ve all had a particular meal in mind, and we couldn’t find it,” says Randy Carpenter, CEO of Nexit. “So we stop somewhere, and choose something else. Then we get back on the road, and two or three exits down the line, there it is. I mean, it’s a shared frustration that everyone’s had.”
Then there’s the problem of overkill — the tendency of many navigation apps to show you too many options you’ll never choose. For instance, if you search in Google Maps or Apple Maps for “Panera,” you will see every Panera location in a broad radius, even the one that’s 20 minutes in the opposite direction from where you’re going. Nexit streamlines your drive by weeding out all the peripheral distractions — the gas station 12 miles west of your location, the restaurant you just passed, the hotel off the beaten track — and keeps you focused on the options that are coming up along your route.
Carpenter says that during the app’s testing phase, users loved how Nexit displays gas prices along their route. “Apps like Gas Buddy and Google Maps show you gas prices in a static location, or a static radius around you,” he says. “But not necessarily when you’re driving 65 or 70 miles an hour down the Interstate, when you need it. Where are the gas prices? Where can I save money on my route?”
With Nexit, users can easily see where to stop for the cheapest gas. “For example, I searched along a route from Ashland, Kentucky, to Atlanta, Georgia,” says Carpenter. “As you zoom out of a stretch of exits, you see $2.05, $2.09, $2.49, $2.19, and $2.31. Five straight exits, and that’s the variance. We think people are going to love to be able to save significant money while they’re traveling.”
The team behind Nexit is betting that its menu of differentiating features will convince road trippers to give a new app a try.
All the existing navigation apps tell you where to drive, says Carpenter. Only Nexit tells you where to stop.