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A New “Waze” to Travel

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 by cyberacoustics

Do you know of anybody today who doesn’t own an iPhone, Android, or a Blackberry device? Ok, maybe your grandparents aren't on the smartphone bandwagon yet, but have you heard of a new social navigation application that gets smarter with each driver added? We’ve all seen traffic maps with shades for green, yellow and red alerting us to traffic speed, but what if you had an app that could give you even more information? Say hello to Waze 3.0.

Waze is a social mobile application that lets drivers use, build, and contribute to real-time road intelligence. The service includes constantly-updated road maps, alerts on traffic and accidents (and even speed traps!), and data providing users with the fastest routes to their destination. 

Maps and traffic updates are automatically collected and generated as users drive with Waze activated, but drivers can also actively report and update other users with what's happening on the road including accident alerts, police traps, weather hazards, cheap gas offers and more. And the best part? Because the maps and all of their content are generated by drivers, Waze is completely free for users!

When I was researching Waze, I was interested to discover that the Waze Live Map generally shows the traffic more accurately than even Google Maps. This is because of the real-time information that’s being received from all of the Waze users who are running the application. The more people out there who are using Waze, the better the system will be.

I also like the fact that there are area managers for Waze, so not just anyone can edit the map of your area. Any user can report map issues, of course, but it is up to the area managers to keep it updated and accurate by correcting issues that members report.

Of course, with any evolving app, there are going to be some limitations. Currently, there’s no option to avoid tolls like other GPS systems, nor is there a voice command feature; you have to rely on looking at your device for road alerts. But with 7.3 million users and it’s free, I can’t complain. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

-Steve Murphy, CA CFO

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