Highway Radar: Waze + VASCAR aircraft alerts on Android (1 Viewer)

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ferius

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After I moved to the US four months ago, I tried to use Waze as a primary navigation app. It does a great job on speed trap alerting in more or less urban areas but doesn't work really well on inter-city highways for two reasons:
  • it often alerts too late,
  • it doesn't know anything about VASCAR patrolling from aircraft (possible in WA, where I live).
There is an excellent JBV1 application which helps with both of these issues, but since I use R7 and not a V1, this is not an option for me.
So, to overcome these problems (and to learn Android development) I wrote an Android application (named "Highway Radar") alerting on Daze reports well in advance (up to 10mi) + warning on suspicious aircraft (data is taken from ADS-B via ADSB-exchange service).

I've been using this app myself for several months and didn't have any plans on publishing it TBH; however, I thought that it may not only be useful to me but to other people not using V1 as well.
Now I'm looking for beta-testers for the application and would appreciate any feedback on it (please post on this thread or PM me on this forum).

Play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.highwayradar.app
Web site: https://highwayradar.com/

The application requires some additional configuration for Daze alerts. Actually, it should be pretty clear how to perform these extra steps (also looking for feedback on how clear is it actually) but just in case here is a quote from the application's site:
NOTE: Despite entering www.waze.com as a server address will show real-time police alerts directly from Waze, it violates Waze ToS and might be illegal in your country.
The server address can be entered in the settings menu under "Server hostname" field.
I also want to mention that this app doesn't work really well in urban areas since it doesn't have a road graph inside so it can't accurately distinguish if the police report on the same street or not, however, it unleashes its full power on highways.
I've tested it on ~1000mi total of highway driving including two 300mi trips and many ~50mi trips. I can't tell how many times it saved me from the police traps (since it gives a good understanding of police activity in the area and I just didn't speed in the dangerous places). However, there was one clear save from the aircraft patrol (was alerted on a Smokey aircraft).

I'm looking for feedback and suggestions on the application since it is almost impossible to make a beautiful product entirely alone. I have some plans on adding an overlay mode (e.g., floating window over Google maps / Waze) and showing some sort of map instead of just directions. I also want to thank @Vortex for inspiring me for publishing this application.

This is a purely non-commercial application, so it doesn't have any paid features or ads inside. However, if you wish to donate, you can do it here: Donate with PayPal.
 
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IPA

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Thanks for taking the initiative in this direction! There will be demand for it. When not running V1 w/ JBV1, I miss a predictable format of compiled alerts. This looks promising to fill the gap when running an R series.
 

Elcid2015

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You mean Waze instead of Daze right? Just wasn't sure if I was out of the loop on something. And I'd love to help with Beta testing.
 

ferius

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You mean Waze instead of Daze right? Just wasn't sure if I was out of the loop on something. And I'd love to help with Beta testing.
Well, if you configure the app "properly" (see the quote inside the post) then "Daze" magically turns into "Waze" =)
Putting Waze support out of the box violates their ToS, so I'm trying to be more or less on the safe side here.
 

Got Jeep

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Great work !
I hope good things come of it.

:thumbsup:
 

sdrawkcaB

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If you make an iOS version in the future and want beta testers to give feedback, let me know.
 

thebravo

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Nice! I have also been looking for a solution like this for aircraft. I'm ok with standard waze but an aircraft tracking app that uses ADSB exchange is very helpful. I will have to look at this as florida uses aircraft. I currently track them via flightradar24 and such, but some are hidden on those apps per the owners request... but ADSB exchange has them all unfiltered. Is there a way to have the app send a push notification when a certain aircraft is in flight and a customizable list of aircraft tail numbers for that alert? I know the aircraft they use for vascar around here... having alerts when the aircraft is within a certain number of miles from you is very helpful, but having the option to just get a heads up when they are flying would be useful to me, even if they aren't super close by. maybe add that as a feature for those that want it?
 
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hiddencam

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Awesome. Thanks so much for this! A great contribution to the CM community; I applaud your generosity to share it. Just tested it and alerted immediately to a LEO 1.1 miles away and displayed several others 13-15 miles away. Very catchy alert tone and I like how you can group and mute the alerts. I'll run this non-stop and let you know any bugs or suggestions.
 

200V

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Very much needed. I have to watch an old 3.9v of Waze , zoomed out, on the highway, to see 10-15 miles ahead. Leaving the display on, with GPS really uses the battery hard, even when plugged in to charge. I use the old version so the police icons are large, easy to see when zoomed out.
 
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dchemist

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Very very cool! I'm glad to see you putting the leg work in and sharing with the community. There will definitely be a demand!
 

BlueV1

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@ferius,
I tried it out for around 100 miles today in both full screen and split screen mode. JBV1 was either in the background or the other half of the screen.

It's definitely a keeper!
For those of us that use JBV1, it's great for those rare times when we don't have our V1's running. I look forward to seeing what improvements you make to it! I think overlays will be a great addition because without the ability to report, other apps will become less useful.
I like the various colored arrows and the alert timing. In my opinion, it might not be as important to see LEO's to the side for a long distance, but that's just me.

I have a few suggestions now that you've released it to RDF.
-The red box with the white speaker seems "too bright" and I wonder if those with OLED screens would start to see burn-in from it. (The report button in VVaze with the bright white ring causes burn-in.) I'd suggest that you darken that box and/or maybe reduce the alpha of it.
-The alert startled me the very first time I heard it and seemed loud compared to what I'm used to. I was listening to the audio of a Youtube video which generally requires a higher volume. It would be nice to have an adjustable volume in your app so that we can match it to our other sources.

Thanks for releasing it!
 
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dchemist

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@ferius,
I tried it out for around 100 miles today in both full screen and split screen mode. JBV1 was either in the background or the other half of the screen.

It's definitely a keeper!
For those of us that use JBV1, it's great for those rare times when we don't have our V1's running. I look forward to seeing what improvements you make to it! I think overlays will be a great addition because without the ability to report, other apps will become less useful.
I like the various colored arrows and the alert timing. In my opinion, it might not be as important to see LEO's to the side for a long distance, but that's just me.

I have a few suggestions now that you've released it to RDF.
-The red box with the white speaker seems "too bright" and I wonder if those with OLED screens would start to see burn-in from it. The report button in VVaze with the bright white ring causes burn-in. I'd suggest that you darken that box and/or maybe reduce the alpha of it.
-The alert startled me the very first time I heard it. I was listening to the audio of a Youtube video which generally requires a higher volume. It would be nice to have an adjustable volume in your app so that we can match it to our other sources.

Thanks for releasing it!
I'm glad you said something. I was thinking I have JBV1 but this would be a perfect supplement when I'm running the R1 or Pro M in my wife's car. Off to download!
 

ferius

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Thanks to everyone for the first feedback!

If you make an iOS version in the future and want beta testers to give feedback, let me know.
I'm Windows + Android user, so, unfortunately, iOS development is very complicated for me (buy iPhone, buy Mac, buy developer license, pray not to be kicked out of AppStore). If anyone wants to take this initiative I'd be happy to help.

Is there a way to have the app send a push notification when a certain aircraft is in flight and a customizable list of aircraft tail numbers for that alert? I know the aircraft they use for vascar around here... having alerts when the aircraft is within a certain number of miles from you is very helpful, but having the option to just get a heads up when they are flying would be useful to me, even if they aren't super close by. maybe add that as a feature for those that want it?
This is a really nice proposal. However, it doesn't fit well into this app's concept. I'll think about implementing this as a separate service (Messenger bot, email or so), might be really useful.

In my opinion, it might not be as important to see LEO's to the side for a long distance, but that's just me.
I thought that adding 0.25mi option to the alert distance selectors would be a good idea, will prioritize this.

The red box with the white speaker seems "too bright" and I wonder if those with OLED screens would start to see burn-in from it. (The report button in VVaze with the bright white ring causes burn-in.) I'd suggest that you darken that box and/or maybe reduce the alpha of it.
Hm..., never thought about it. I'll add a settings option to make it darker.

The alert startled me the very first time I heard it and seemed loud compared to what I'm used to. I was listening to the audio of a Youtube video which generally requires a higher volume. It would be nice to have an adjustable volume in your app so that we can match it to our other sources.
This is a good suggestion, I'll put adding a volume control to my backlog.
 
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thebravo

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Thanks to everyone for the first feedback!


I'm Windows + Android user, so, unfortunately, iOS development is very complicated for me (buy iPhone, buy Mac, buy developer license, pray not to be kicked out of AppStore). If anyone wants to take this initiative I'd be happy to help.


This is a really nice proposal. However, it doesn't fit well into this app's concept. I'll think about implementing this as a separate service (Messenger bot, email or so), might be really useful.


I thought that adding 0.25mi option to the alert distance selectors would be a good idea, will prioritize this.


Hm..., never thought about it. I'll add a settings option to make it darker.


This is a good suggestion, I'll put adding a volume control to my backlog.
Thanks for looking into it, I have a personal mission to save people from aircraft traps so I Waze them up from home having a notification that a certain tail number is up would be useful either as part of this app or a separate service /app that uses adsbexchange as a data source.... Flightradar24 and flight aware are filtered so niteverything I need to see is available. I will certainly be using this on my current drives as I don't have a great way to monitor all aircraft while I'm on the road as watching the adsb map while driving is not practical.
 

sdrawkcaB

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Thanks for looking into it, I have a personal mission to save people from aircraft traps so I Waze them up from home having a notification that a certain tail number is up would be useful either as part of this app or a separate service /app that uses adsbexchange as a data source.... Flightradar24 and flight aware are filtered so niteverything I need to see is available. I will certainly be using this on my current drives as I don't have a great way to monitor all aircraft while I'm on the road as watching the adsb map while driving is not practical.
Do you use BlueStacks and spoof the GPS coordinates to do that, or how do you go about doing that? Just curious.
 

thebravo

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Do you use BlueStacks and spoof the GPS coordinates to do that, or how do you go about doing that? Just curious.
Any free GPS spoofing app works... I'm rooted so it's easy. Just spoof the location drop pins just past the first measurement line. People slow down coming up to the pin and the aircraft oporator sees that they are going slow and looks for another victim. My record was three simultaneous aircraft vascar traps at once. Had three old phones sitting on my desk all set to a different active trap locations and kept reporting as needed.
 

sdrawkcaB

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Any free GPS spoofing app works... I'm rooted so it's easy. Just spoof the location drop pins just past the first measurement line. People slow down coming up to the pin and the aircraft oporator sees that they are going slow and looks for another victim. My record was three simultaneous aircraft vascar traps at once. Had three old phones sitting on my desk all set to a different active trap locations and kept reporting as needed.
You're the definition of Altruism.
 

200V

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Split screen in Android would be super helpful.
 

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