No one (I think) likes to be stuck in traffic. What if there was a way for drivers to warn other drivers about potential jams or a quicker route? There is. It’s called Waze. Waze is a community-based traffic and navigation app. It’s a little social media, some GPS Navigation and real-time news you can use all wrapped up into a little app for your phone. Waze is modernizing the way we drive and avoid disruptions during our commute.
Users type in their destination address, and keep the app open to share traffic and road information. Waze also allows drivers to share information about accidents, police speed traps or any hazards along their route. But it’s not just about saving time; Waze is also helping to keep people safe. During recent flash floods in Austin, Texas the city partnered with Waze to mark road closures on the app and provided information on other available routes to help drivers avoid dangerous driving conditions.
Here’s a look at how Waze works:
According to Waze by connecting drivers the app helps create local driving communities that all work together to improve the quality of everyone’s commute. It’s a modern concept that Julie Mossler, Waze Senior Director of Communication, says will always stay modern.
“Waze leverages two current global phenomena, mobile technology and crowdsourcing, to create a truly modern map. The map is updated in real-time by millions of drivers all over the world – by its very definition, Waze will never not be modern,” said Mossler.
Waze was founded in 2008 in Israel but moved its headquarters to California. Google acquired it in June, reportedly, for close to $1 Billion. A lot has changed for Waze in the four years since it was founded, in a good way.
“We began monetizing the platform by working with familiar advertisers to offer promotions, sweepstakes and discounts most relevant to each route,” said Mossler. “The team also has been lucky post-acquisition to meet many of Google’s partners in their global network, which means more potential resources to draw upon. “
What makes Waze different, says Mossler, is that it’s drivers who are contributing information to the app. She says social media is critical in the launch of the app in each country it serves. It leverages Twitter and Facebook to communicate in the local language and support local traffic events.
“The Waze community is made of approximately 120 employees and 110,000 volunteer map editors. We could never map traffic for every corner of the globe without our community,” said Mossler.
One thing Mossler says people should know about Waze is that “It’s the people’s map.” She says every user has the power to build the map in their neighborhood and help other drivers avoid extra time in their vehicle. Because safe driving is their top priority, she says, you can navigate hands-free from the time users start their app to reaching their destination.
“We have several social functions that make driving fun,” said Mossler. You can connect to Facebook to navigate directly to Facebook Events and see other guests on their way. You can also share your drive so family can follow you on the map and see your estimated time of arrival.
Are you a Wazer? What are other modern apps that have changed your everyday commute?