Highway Radar v2.1 beta

ferius

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Hi everyone,

First of all, I want to apologize for not releasing an update for quite a while. That delay was first since I wasn't able to actively work on this app at the end of 2019, and secondly, since the features in this update required a lot of testing.

Update: v2.1.2 just pushed to the production track and available to everyone.
The main feature is that Highway Radar now supports a road graph, which allows it to understand on which street the driver is and how the roads are connected between each other. Before this update, Highway Radar only knew about coordinates and directions of the driver and nearby alerts (police, aircraft, hazards, etc.). Now it also knows about roads nearby and how they are connected, which enables me to implement many cool features.

Currently, I've implemented the following features using the road graph:
  • Street name and current PSL can be displayed in the app
  • Smart low-speed muting (muting threshold relative to the current PSL, not absolute)

Also, this update enables me to easily implement the following features soon (those aren't implemented yet):
  • Alert on police/hazards/cameras on the street only
  • Automatically adjust alert ranges depending on road type or PSL
  • Warning on upcoming hot spots from the heat map
  • Show upcoming "heat" even in the arrows mode
  • Alert on exceeding the PSL by X mph
  • and many more features that depend on knowing PSL, road type or road graph connections

Besides the road graph, this update includes several other important updates:
  • Added caching of downloadable data
    Roads, heat maps, cameras, risk scores are now stored locally after downloading, this should significantly reduce data usage and make the app start faster. Data is cached using standard Android API which means it can be easily wiped by clearing app cache from the Android settings.
  • Added aircraft alerts sensitivity
    Since Highway Radar uses a complex formula to estimate threat level for aircraft (not just distance), it is hard to find meaningful yet straightforward units for this value. That is why the sensitivity is configured as a just value from 1 to 7. Also, the default sensitivity was reduced.
  • Added an option to ignore unknown aircraft
    Sometimes aircraft may not supply identification information or be almost out of ADS-B coverage, which may lead to missing the ownership data. Such aircraft are marked as the "Unknown owner / Unknown model" in the application. However, in most cases, this means that the aircraft tail number isn't in the database, which can happen to aircraft registered outside of the US – typical case for commercial international flights. So in most cases ignoring such aircraft should be safe; however, infrequent false missing alerts may happen.
  • Several UI changes
    Added space for PSL sign, updated in-drive menu icon, made "Waze" button persistent (not requiring to mute first) in portrait mode, removed the word "monitoring."
  • One more attempt to fix app blinking
    In rare cases, the application went mad and started starting and stopping every second. This could only be stopped by rebooting the phone or force-stopping the app. Investigating this is very hard since the problem happens very rarely. I found a potential cause; however, I'm still not entirely sure. I've also added detection of such case happening and automatic remediation, hope this should help.
  • Fixed many cases of TTS mispronunciations
    Sometimes street names were mispronounced when abbreviations were used. Fixed this for many common abbreviations. More details available in the topic
  • Fixed a nasty bug when "Www.vvaze.com" (capital W) crowdsourced alerts hostname didn't work.
    Bug description is in the topic
I'm planning to keep this update in beta mode for about a week while observing stability, later I'll make it public.
 
Last edited:

RussS

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Hi everyone,

First of all, I want to apologize for not releasing an update for quite a while. That delay was first since I wasn't able to actively work on this app at the end of 2019, and secondly, since the features in this update required a lot of testing.



The main feature is that Highway Radar now supports a road graph, which allows it to understand on which street the driver is and how the roads are connected between each other. Before this update, Highway Radar only knew about coordinates and directions of the driver and nearby alerts (police, aircraft, hazards, etc.). Now it also knows about roads nearby and how they are connected, which enables me to implement many cool features.

Currently, I've implemented the following features using the road graph:
  • Street name and current PSL can be displayed in the app
  • Smart low-speed muting (muting threshold relative to the current PSL, not absolute)

Also, this update enables me to easily implement the following features soon (those aren't implemented yet):
  • Alert on police/hazards/cameras on the street only
  • Automatically adjust alert ranges depending on road type or PSL
  • Warning on upcoming hot spots from the heat map
  • Show upcoming "heat" even in the arrows mode
  • Alert on exceeding the PSL by X mph
  • and many more features that depend on knowing PSL, road type or road graph connections

Besides the road graph, this update includes several other important updates:
  • Added caching of downloadable data
    Roads, heat maps, cameras, risk scores are now stored locally after downloading, this should significantly reduce data usage and make the app start faster. Data is cached using standard Android API which means it can be easily wiped by clearing app cache from the Android settings.
  • Added aircraft alerts sensitivity
    Since Highway Radar uses a complex formula to estimate threat level for aircraft (not just distance), it is hard to find meaningful yet straightforward units for this value. That is why the sensitivity is configured as a just value from 1 to 7. Also, the default sensitivity was reduced.
  • Added an option to ignore unknown aircraft
    Sometimes aircraft may not supply identification information or be almost out of ADS-B coverage, which may lead to missing the ownership data. Such aircraft are marked as the "Unknown owner / Unknown model" in the application. However, in most cases, this means that the aircraft tail number isn't in the database, which can happen to aircraft registered outside of the US – typical case for commercial international flights. So in most cases ignoring such aircraft should be safe; however, infrequent false missing alerts may happen.
  • Several UI changes
    Added space for PSL sign, updated in-drive menu icon, made "Waze" button persistent (not requiring to mute first) in portrait mode, removed the word "monitoring."
  • One more attempt to fix app blinking
    In rare cases, the application went mad and started starting and stopping every second. This could only be stopped by rebooting the phone or force-stopping the app. Investigating this is very hard since the problem happens very rarely. I found a potential cause; however, I'm still not entirely sure. I've also added detection of such case happening and automatic remediation, hope this should help.
  • Fixed many cases of TTS mispronunciations
    Sometimes street names were mispronounced when abbreviations were used. Fixed this for many common abbreviations. More details available in the topic
  • Fixed a nasty bug when "Www.vvaze.com" (capital W) crowdsourced alerts hostname didn't work.
    Bug description is in the topic
I'm planning to keep this update in beta mode for about a week while observing stability, later I'll make it public.
This is awesome! Thanks for all the hard work and details. Can't wait to test it out.
 

thebravo

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This looks like a massive update and I'm excited about it, the highways near me (turnpike and 95 run right next to each other) so getting close to alerts on the same road will be a big deal for me :) @Choose Life
 

WJS

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I think I need to plan a road trip to test out this update! Sounds amazing!
 

UnderCover

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I been using your app since it 1st came out when you mentioned it on the forum. I love your app you made for all of us and we appreciate your dedication and time to make our travels more safe and to keep us on our toes! You Rock!
Thanks as always!

By the way, I'm on Bata mode!
 
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fitz4321

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Thank you for the aircraft adjustments. I loaded the beta. Will test tomorrow.
 

Twi7ch

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Love the list of features to come. Glad to have you back working away on this!
 

Bocephus

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Me over here in IOS world :shifty:
 

87GN

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This is probably one of my favorite apps. It's 1 of the 1st things are set up on my phone whenever I go to drive my car. I love the 10 mile range. There's never a cop that sneaks up on me if he's already pulled somebody over and gets marked.
 

Choose Life

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If you implement everything on that list (and get it all right) you should charge 2.99 for the app or run light ads and grandfather in downloads already
Because if you advertised just in the New York region you would have 100k easy

The biggest threat is Daze pulling the plug
Don't know how to avoid that so it may have to stay a Rdf thing
 

ferius

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The biggest threat is Daze pulling the plug
Exactly, that is pretty much the main reason why I'm not going too public for now.

One of the possible ways to work this around is to remove crowdsourced alerts from the default bundle (basically, focus on heat maps, risk scores, and aircraft alerts) and publish it that way. Then I can support separate APK plugins pulling crowdsourced data from various sources (Daze/GMaqs/whatever else) and supplying it to the main application. Of course, no plugins violating any ToS (Daze/Gmaqs) are to be available in the Play Store.

Currently, I develop the application primarily for myself and I don't think that possible benefits from ads/subscriptions can outweigh the effort of making it 100% compatible with all ToSes, I'd rather devote my time to more features that I can take advantage of.
 
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RussS

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Ran it for over 100 miles today and I didn't notice any issues. I'll report if I find anything as I continue to use it more.
 

UnderCover

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Exactly, that is pretty much the main reason why I'm not going too public for now.

One of the possible ways to work this around is to remove crowdsourced alerts from the default bundle (basically, focus on heat maps, risk scores, and aircraft alerts) and publish it that way. Then I can support separate APK plugins pulling crowdsourced data from various sources (Daze/GMaqs/whatever else) and supplying it to the main application. Of course, no plugins violating any ToS (Daze/Gmaqs) are to be available in the Play Store.

Currently, I develop the application primarily for myself and I don't think that possible benefits from ads/subscriptions can outweigh the effort of making it 100% compatible with all ToSes, I'd rather devote my time to more features that I can take advantage of.
Keep this app for our members only.
I honestly feel if this come out to all the public, it may back fire.

We need an app like this and don't need it to be spoiled by a high capacity of people and possible conflicts with Wwaze.

This is my honest opinion.
 

ferius

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Just published v2.1.1, still to the beta channel. This version doesn't bring any new features, it just fixes several bugs found during v2.1 testing.
 

UnderCover

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I just updated mine. Thanks .
By the way I'm on the Beta version.
 

G37X Jockey

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I have speed cameras enabled, and the alerts are duplicated and fill the entire screen, even overriding police and aircraft alerts.
I've tried clearing the cache but the bug persists.
 

ferius

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I have speed cameras enabled, and the alerts are duplicated and fill the entire screen, even overriding police and aircraft alerts.
I've tried clearing the cache but the bug persists.
Hi, thanks for pointing out, I noticed this during my yesterday's trip as well. I have a fix ready and will try to push an update today.
 
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