New York City's tunnels are as much a part of its landscape as its subway lines and streets, but they can also be a pain when your GPS signal cuts out and your navigation app is effectively blind. They might not cause headaches for much longer. Waze is launching its wireless Beacons, which help improve navigation in areas with unreliable GPS, across the New York metro area. You'll encounter them in familiar NYC underground sections like the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel and Queens-Midtown Tunnel.
The Eddystone-powered hardware is coming with the blessings of both the MTA and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. While the Beacons are primarily intended for Waze, they're open-source devices that should work with any navigation app that introduces support.
This isn't a complete novelty when Beacons are already in use in Boston, Chicago and other cities. It could be one of the most important deployments all the same. NYC isn't exactly a small city, and its heavy dependence on bridges and tunnels could affect millions of people wondering whether their directions will still be accurate when they return to the surface.