Waze Offers Voice Navigation from Terminator and Colonel Sanders
I spent a fair amount of time in the car on Tuesday, navigating Los Angeles traffic to and from Willow Springs, where I spent a little fun time on the racetrack (more on that later). My co-pilot was using Waze to keep us updated on traffic along the way, and we got to talking about the collection of celebrity voices that the service is using right now to provide humorous and helpful navigation tips.
If you’ve never used it, Waze is a crowd-sourced traffic assistant that benefits from the world's largest network of drivers who work together daily to outsmart traffic and save time and money. The convenient app, which recommends the fastest routes based on real-time driving data from millions of users, is owned by Google, and sources much of its traffic information from the same vehicles that are powering the Google Maps app. The free app is available for both iOS and Android users, and even lets you share your commute in real time with other Waze users, so they’ll know when you’re arriving at your destination.
Now through August 16th, Wazers will be able to opt in to using The Colonel's voice for navigation with such Colonel-isms as "Pothole on the road ahead. I'd fill it with gravy." The Colonel will also guide Wazers to KFC restaurants that appear along their route.
"In our ads, the Colonel still thinks it costs $5 to fill up your car and that baseball is still America's number one sport, 'free of corruption and cheating of any kind, '" said Kevin Hochman, chief marketing officer of KFC US. "But I can promise you his navigation instructions are more up to date. Just grab a KFC Bucket and let the Colonel do the cooking and navigating this summer."
This actually isn't the first time The Colonel has provided navigation to drivers: Apparently more than 90 years ago, he painted a sign to direct motorists to his gas station in Corbin, Kentucky. When a rival gas station owner took offense to losing customers, a gunfight broke out between the two that resulted in the Colonel shooting the man in the shoulder in self-defense. This is just one of the Colonel's "colorful" life events that are re-enacted in a play and on a video game on www.colonelsanders.com.
"We're hoping this time the Colonel's navigation works out a bit better," Hochman said. AskPatty hopes so, too.
As part of the promotion for the summer blockbuster “Terminator Genisys,” you can get directions from Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, along with warnings if the villainous T-1000 robot assassin is near your route. When the new movie opens on July 1, red-eyed Endoskulls will appear on screen to mark nearby theaters. The voice will remain in the Waze database until July 5.
"Every single day on social media fans ask me to record my movie lines," the actor and former California governor said, in a statement. "So, now I get to bring this classic role -- and my charming Austrian accent -- into their cars."
Schwarzenegger told USA Today his involvement with the app marks a bit of deja vu: "In 1984, when we did (the first) Terminator, we talked about the world being run by machines. It was science fiction then," Schwarzenegger, 67, said. "Now you have machines telling you where to drive." And at the end of your journey, the Terminator will wish you goodbye with his trademark, "Hasta la vista, baby!"
To activate either of these voices in your Waze app, go to "Settings," then "Sounds" then “Navigation guidance” and browse to click on your choice of either "English (US) -- Arnold" or "English (US) -- Colonel Sanders." Or while you’re in there, you might be inclined to choose one of the other options, like “Boy Band,” or “Vlade Divac.”
From traffic reroutes to low gas price alerts and relevant offers from favorite brands, Waze is one of the most comprehensive driving companions in the marketplace. To download the free Waze app for iOS or Android, visit www.waze.com.