Waze and Headspace want you to ‘find more joy’ while driving, whatever that may be

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Waze and Headspace want you to get into mindful driving.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

techno.rentetan.com – The two firms have joined forces to make your commute a little less stressful. Driving may be a source of frustration. As more people return to commuting, popular navigation software Waze is collaborating with meditation app Headspace to help you relax while you’re on the road. That is, at least, the intention.

“Drivers learn how to discover more joy and significance on the road,” according to the new Headspace experience on Waze. It comes with a new theme and five moods: Aware, Bright, Hopeful, Joyful, and Open, as well as personalized navigation suggestions from a mindfulness trainer. If you don’t want your automobile to appear as a car symbol in the app, you may replace it with a hot air balloon. Maybe that’s more relaxing.

“Mindful driving” is not a brand-new notion. It’s akin to eating and exercising with awareness. Driving mindfully might help you stay focused and avoid being distracted by the radio station. It can also help you become more conscious of other aspects of driving, such as vehicle spacing and whether the person to your right appears to be a lane-weaver.

Waze and Headspace have created a Spotify playlist that you can listen to to get a sense of what mindful driving will sound like. I briefly glanced through it, and it looks to be mostly ambient music with Headspace’s guided meditation cues thrown in for good measure. If you like what you hear, you may turn on Headspace on Waze from your phone until November 1st by pressing the banner in the “My Waze” menu.

Waze will prompt you to “activate the experience” in the mobile app once it’s available.
Image: Waze

As a California driver, I frequently return home from a trip needing a minute before I can interact in life in a neutral manner. To relieve my road stress, I’ve tried listening to lo-fi and chill hop playlists, but I’ve either become too tired to drive or switched to a more active genre to keep up with the other crazy drivers on the road.

For those who drive through rush hour traffic on a regular basis, the concept that driving may be as relaxing as, say, a mindful yoga practice does not seem plausible. It’s difficult enough to physically show up for work every day. When you add in the painfully boring traffic, you’ll be more inclined to listen to a podcast or upbeat music to pass the time rather than a contemplative playlist.

Waze appears to be using this collaboration to position itself as an all-in-one driving solution while also assisting Headspace in expanding its services. However, as someone who used to travel regularly through the San Francisco Bay Area, which is ranked eighth in the country for worst traffic, I can tell you that being on the road for hours at a time is neither enjoyable nor relaxing. Even Headspace may not be able to assist me in this area.