Centre for Road Safety

Common Speed Adviser questions

  1. Is the app likely to cause distraction to the driver?
  2. Are learner and provisional drivers able to use Speed Adviser?
  3. How accurate is Speed Adviser?
  4. What if Speed Adviser says that the speed limit is higher than the posted speed limit?
  5. Does Speed Adviser know the times of school zones?
  6. How does the advanced warning of school zones work?
  7. Will Speed Adviser know about roadwork?
  8. How does the app handle variable speed limits?
  9. How do I report errors in the map database or problems with the app?
  10. Speed Adviser tells me there is no signal, how do I get a signal?
  11. Why is Speed Adviser waiting for a signal when I have full 3G or 4G signal strength?
  12. How do I turn Speed Adviser off?
  13. How do I get the Speed Adviser app to run in the background?
  14. Why is there no sound coming from Speed Adviser?
  15. How do I adjust the volume?
  16. How do I change the voice and alerts on the Speed Adviser announcer?
  17. How much data does Speed Adviser use?
  18. Does Speed Adviser use the phone’s battery?
  19. Will the app crash my phone or cause other problems with my device?
  20. Does Speed Adviser offer GPS directional guidance?
  21. Why use Speed Adviser, instead of a traditional GPS navigational device?
  22. Does Speed Adviser track users and their movements, or their speed in a given speed zone?
  23. Will other versions of Speed Adviser be released?
  24. How can I offer my feedback on Speed Adviser?

1. Is the app likely to cause distraction to the driver?

Under NSW Road Rules, a driver can use a mounted mobile phone as a driver’s aid. Drivers do not need to interact with Speed Adviser while it operates. The app is designed to help you stick to the speed limit. You must have your mobile phone secured in a commercially manufactured and designed mounting. The mounting must be fixed as intended by the manufacturer. Your mobile phone should not obscure your view.

2. Are learner and provisional drivers able to use Speed Adviser?

No. Under NSW Road Rules, learner, P1 and P2 drivers must not use a mobile phone at all while driving or riding. This includes when waiting at traffic lights or stuck in traffic. You must be parked out of the line of traffic to use your mobile phone in any way.

3. How accurate is Speed Adviser?

The app’s speed zone information relies on the speed zone map database (embedded in the app) and your phone’s built-in GPS to triangulate your position. The map database in Speed Adviser is licensed from TomTom. We work with Roads & Maritime Services to make the TomTom speed zone data accurate. There may be a time lag with some new speed zone and speed limit changes.

4. What if Speed Adviser says that the speed limit is higher than the posted speed limit?

Information provided by the app should never override the posted legal speed limit. We have tried to make the app accurate and reliable, but drivers should always obey the signposted speed limits and operating times of school zones.

5. Does Speed Adviser know the times of school zones?

Yes, the app knows the times of school zones and has a two-year calendar of school holiday dates. The app tells drivers when they enter and leave school zones that are active. The app also knows school zones that have extended or different operating times. Information provided by the app should never override the signposted speed limit or posted operating times and days of school zones.

6. How does the advanced warning of school zones work?

When you are 50m from entering a school zone, and within the time when school zones are in operation, Speed Adviser will sound a warning. However, this function will only work if there are no options for you to turn off before entering the school zone. If, for example, there is a side street 5m before the start of the school zone you will not receive the advance warning as it is possible you will turn down the side street. Information provided by the app should never override the signposted speed limit or posted operating times and days of school zones.

7. Will Speed Adviser know about roadwork?

No, Speed Adviser will not know about roadwork and will not display any temporary roadwork speed limits. The app uses predetermined speed zone information and does not have live updates. Drivers should always stick to the signposted speed limits, including those at roadwork sites.

8. How does the app handle variable speed limits?

Speed Adviser announces the variable speed zone and shows the maximum speed for that area. In variable speed zones, drivers must follow the signposted speed limits, as these will be enforced by police.

9. How do I report errors in the map database or problems with the app?

If you find an error in a speed zone, please record its location and after you arrive at your destination email us the details at roadsafetytechnology@transport.nsw.gov.au. You can also email us to report any bugs or to suggest improvements.

10. Speed Adviser tells me there is no signal, how do I get a signal?

Speed Adviser only works in NSW. In other states the app will not show any maps.

iPhone

To ensure that a GPS signal is being received from the Home screen go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services. Turn on Location Services and enable Location Services for Speed Adviser. To improve the GPS signal accuracy, Apple recommends:

  1. Ensure the date, time, and time zone are correctly set on the device in Settings. If possible, use Set Automatically.
  2. Restart your device
  3. Check that you have a cellular or WiFi connection. This allows Assisted-GPS on the device to locate visible GPS satellites faster.
  4. Maintain a clear view of the horizon in several directions.

Android

  1. To ensure that a GPS signal is being received, start the ‘settings’ app and select the heading ‘location services’ (or similar).
  2. Turn on the three options with names similar to ‘Use GPS satellites’, ‘Use WiFi Networks’ and ‘Access my location’.
  3. Ensure the date, time and time zone are correctly set on the device.
  4. Maintain a clear view of the horizon is several directions.

11. Why is Speed Adviser waiting for a signal when I have full 3G or 4G signal strength?

Your phone receives two types of signals:

  1. A 3G/4G signal from your selected carrier, which carries voice and data, and
  2. A GPS signal from satellites.

Speed Adviser only uses your phone’s GPS signal. The five bars or dots that appear in your phone’s status bar indicate the signal strength from your carrier. The GPS signal on your phone is different from your carrier’s 3G/4G signal. A strong signal from your carrier does not mean that your phone’s GPS signal will also be strong.

When Speed Adviser first starts up, it displays: “Waiting for signal”.

Your phone will try to find the GPS satellites in the sky. Once an initial satellite lock is found, the app will process incoming GPS data and start working. If the incoming signal is not good enough, the app will display “Waiting for better signal” and try to find a stronger GPS signal.
Your phone can take a few minutes to find an initial GPS lock. You need to be patient and it helps to keep your phone still.

Other ways to help improve your phone’s GPS reception include:

  • Mount your phone with a clear view of the sky - under the front windscreen is good. If your windscreen has a metallic coating,  try mounting it against a side window.
  • If you have an iPhone, angle it so the antenna is clear. The iPhone’s GPS antenna may be on the back or the bottom, so try angling the phone a little.
  • Move away from buildings, tunnels or mountainous areas.
  • Ensure your phone’s battery is charged. Power it from your vehicle if possible.
  • Remove your phone from any pouch or case.
  • Ensure the date, time and time zone are correct in Settings > General > Data & Time. If possible, use “Set automatically”.
  • Ensure “Mobile Data” or ‘Data Usage’ is activated in Settings.
  • Ensure “WiFi” is activated in Settings.
  • Try restarting the phone.

You may need to check the GPS hardware in your phone is OK. Install any of the free “GPS Status” apps from Google Play or the App Store. These apps can usually reset your phone’s GPS and force it to download fresh A-GPS data. The app should eventually report five or more satellites, with an overall accuracy range of less than 50m if your GPS hardware is OK.

12. How do I turn Speed Adviser off?

  1. From the main screen of Speed Adviser, tap on the ‘Quit” icon.
  2. A prompt asking “Are you sure you want to quit Speed Adviser?” will be displayed (as below).

For iOS

Select “No” or “Yes”.

For Android

Select “Quit” or “Cancel”

13. How do I get the Speed Adviser app to run in the background?

After you turn Speed Adviser on, press your home button. This will minimise Speed Adviser and you can now use other apps, music, etc, but remember, it’s illegal to touch your phone while driving.

14. Why is there no sound coming from Speed Adviser?

The volume of the Speed Adviser audio alerts is affected by the configuration of the app and the audio environment in which your phone is operating.

The best way to listen to the audio alerts is via your car's stereo system. If your car stereo supports external (auxiliary) input with a 3.5mm stereo jack, use a cable with a 3.5mm stereo plug at either end. Plug one end into the headphone jack on the phone and the other end into the auxiliary input on your car stereo. Then turn the car stereo on and select the phone as your audio source. The volume of Speed Adviser's alerts can be changed by the volume setting on your car stereo system.

If your car stereo supports Bluetooth devices, you may be able to stream Speed Adviser's audio to your car stereo. To do this, go to the Settings app on your phone and turn Bluetooth on. Then tap on the Bluetooth heading. After making your phone discoverable, "search" or "scan" for nearby Bluetooth devices. Your car stereo should appear in the list of available devices. Select your car stereo from the list to pair with it. You may need to enter a PIN code, which will be listed in your car stereo's manual.

Set your car stereo's audio source to Bluetooth, and you should hear Speed Adviser's alerts through the stereo. To test this, tap anywhere on the Speed Adviser main screen and adjust the volume slider.

At the end of each slider adjustment, the app will play "Alert", which you should hear through your car's speakers.

To use your phone's built in speaker, adjust the Speed Adviser volume to a high setting. To set the volume of the audio alerts, tap anywhere on the background picture. When the Volume/Brightness pops up, adjust the Volume slider as described in "How do I adjust the volume?" above. Also make sure that your phones speakers are not covered by any case or screen protector that. Close your car's windows to reduce road noise.

If you are using an iPhone and cannot hear the Speed Adviser alerts, you may be able to connect your phone to a device via Bluetooth. Select the Volume/Brightness pop-up as described in FAQ 15. If your phone is paired with a Bluetooth device, you will see the AirPlay icon at the right of the Volume Slider, which looks like a triangle on top of a rectangle. Tap on this icon to see a menu of possible connections for Speed Adviser's audio. Select your iPhone from this menu.

Speed Adviser only plays audio alerts when the prevailing speed limit changes, or when you exceed the prevailing speed limit

15. How do I adjust the volume?

Tap the screen when the Speed Adviser app is on the main screen. A volume control and brightness slider will appear, and you can adjust the volume via the slider.

16. How do I change the voice and alerts on the Speed Adviser announcer?

  1. Tap on the Alerts icon on the main screen of the app.
  2. A prompt asking “What type of audio alerts do you want to hear?” will be displayed (as below). The current four choices are: Male Voice, Female Voice, Beep or None. Select your desired announcer.
     

 

17. How much data does Speed Adviser use?

iPhone

The app needs about 300Mb on your phone, but does not use any data from your selected carrier, apart from the initial download. The app finds your location using your phone’s GPS.

Android

The app needs about 150Mb, but does not use any data from your selected carrier, apart from the initial download. The app finds your location using your phone’s GPS.

18. Does Speed Adviser use the phone’s battery?

Yes, the app uses a lot of battery power. We advise that you connect your phone to a charger while using the app. Make sure you close the app when you get out of your vehicle (see question 12).

19. Will the app crash my phone or cause other problems with my device?

Apple and Google have strict rules for their application stores. Our app is bound by their review guidelines to ensure that your phone won’t purposely crash. If it does crash, our app will not cause problems with your device. Transport for NSW tests the app to make sure it won’t cause problems with your phone.

20. Does Speed Adviser offer GPS directional guidance?

No. We do not plan to build navigation into the app. Speed Adviser is a driver’s aid to help people stick to the speed limit.

21. Why use Speed Adviser, instead of a traditional GPS navigational device?

The app was built to deliver road safety information on smartphones. Some GPS devices have features similar to Speed Adviser, but have not been made for road safety purposes. New software and map updates are easy to install on smartphones. Speed Adviser users can quickly update the app to get the latest road safety speed limit and mapping data.

22. Does Speed Adviser track users and their movements, or their speed in a given speed zone?

No, the app does not record vehicle location, position or speed.

23. Will other versions of Speed Adviser be released?

We have launched iPhone and Android versions of Speed Adviser, but have no plans to release other versions.

24. How can I offer my feedback on Speed Adviser?

Please email your comments, suggestions and questions to roadsafetytechnology@transport.nsw.gov.au

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