RAC Traffic review
We review RAC Traffic, an Android application to help you plan a route and avoid traffic with GPS
There are few things that can put a dampener on a long journey as getting stuck in a bumper-to-bumper snarl-up. Thankfully modern devices such as smart phones enable us to swot-up and do a bit of research before setting out on an extended trip.
In fact traffic report applications are pretty common these days so any newcomer obviously needs to be something special to stand out from the crowd. One way of doing this is to tag a famous name to the program – and in terms of British motoring, they don’t come much bigger than the RAC.
Produced by Oakley Integrated Solutions with the RAC’s official blessing and showcasing up-to-the-minute incident reports, RAC Traffic is certainly aiming to impress. Like so many similar apps it uses Google Maps as its foundation, overlaying traffic information on top of the famous pre-installed app.
Accidents and other important events are displayed as a warning sign on the map; tapping an event opens up a more detailed description of what has gone awry. RAC Traffic even supports text-to-speech so the information is read out to you. This proves especially useful if you’re using the app whilst driving, as staring at a mobile phone screen when at the wheel of a car obviously isn’t recommended.
In terms of other options you can choose to have the app follow your progress via GPS or you can simply select your region from a drop-down list. Because the app integrates with Google Maps you can obviously interact with the map in the usual way, zooming out to locate current incidents.
To top it all off there’s a list which compiles all open incident reports so you can quickly check to see if your proposed route is likely to run into any issues.
The entire package is pretty well put together but it’s not quite as stable as we’d like. We experienced a few blank screens where data refused to download correctly, and the only option was to force-close the app and restart it. It’s disappointing that such a high-profile app such suffer from these problems but we imagine these bugs will be ironed out in future revisions.
While RAC Traffic doesn’t really do anything out of the ordinary and the aforementioned technical issues prevent it from totally out-classing the opposition, it has plenty of potential and if the developers can eradicate the occasional loading problems then it could become a solid companion on those future car trips.