Waze: free live traffic app

Posted by Charmed
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on Tuesday, 06 March 2012
in Digital Blogs

Yesterday afternoon I was given a demonstration of Waze - a traffic app that crowd-sources information. Sort of like a social network for traffic, which works better if more people use it. And more people should, because it’s free.

It’s a GPS navigation app for smartphones available on the following platforms: iOS, Android, Symbian and BlackBerry and has been brought to South Africa by MiX Telematics.

I was chatting to Evangelos Gikas from MiX Telematics earlier as I was being driven from my offices to 24 Central for a cup of coffee and he said that there are already more than 30,000 users in South Africa, with majority based in Johannesburg.

If you experience a lot of traffic in your daily commute, Waze will help you by redirecting you to the fastest route. You can see where congestion is, highlighted on the map, with heavy congestion appearing darker.

The app gets its live traffic updates by the user actively or passively sending information. If for example I’m driving to work and I have the app fired up (sign-up required) and I’m doing 20km/h in a 60km/h zone, the app automatically uses this information to let others know that there’s traffic (passive). I could also actively send out an alert, and even upload a picture of an accident, letting others know they should avoid a certain road. By doing this, other Waze users can see it, and can ping me for more information if they want. (If you want to stalk people like this, you are a sorry excuse for a human being :P )

Another interesting feature is the gamification aspect of the app. Users gain points for reporting traffic information, validating roads and collecting drive-through “candies”. The point of all this? If a user wants to become “area manager”, points count in their favour, and their status is elevated, which also allows them to update requests, delete irrelevant information, etc.

Currently there are more than 12 million users worldwide, from 45 countries. So if you’re someone who sits in traffic everyday, you should try the app, and because it’s free, you have nothing to lose. Win win. Right?

Waze is available for download on the Apple AppStore, the Android Market Place, the Nokia Ovi Store and BlackBerry’s App World.

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Syllable
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Syllable Tuesday, 06 March 2012

Many unpaved roads

The MD uses that. But it has several "unpaved" roads. According to it I live in the wilderness where there aren't any roads. Seems pretty cool though.

Charmed
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Charmed Tuesday, 06 March 2012

unpaved roads

The guy explained that the more [registered and logged-in] people use a road, it becomes 'mapped'. For a crowd sourced app like this to work, we need everyone to download it :D

redsaid
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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur
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redsaid Tuesday, 06 March 2012

Where there's a will there's a waze

Even though you know how I feel about driving, the app sounds very cool for everyone forced to slog through a daily commute.

However, I am still waiting for the day when someone develops an app that can take the dreaded task of driving out of my hands. I even have a name for them: the iDrive. So now that I've done the difficult bit, WHY ISN'T IT DONE YET???? Huh, TobyKurien??

Charmed
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Charmed Tuesday, 06 March 2012

hahah

Ragel, you have big dreams! :) Yes, Toby would be an excellent recruit for such a project... if he hasn't already thought about it!

Dissol
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Dissol Tuesday, 06 March 2012

I can see another potential use...

I regularly drive from the Cape to Gauteng, I think I am on my 4th visit of 2012. I choose to drive for all manner of reasons, but I try to SMS updates of my progress to people at both ends (who think I am a nutter for doing this). I could see that they could potentially track my progress...although it does give me something to do when I am stopped in roadworks. I love the drive; I listen to audiobooks, and also (using Dragon) dictate some notes, and ideas...not all of them great, and often interrupted with foul abuse aimed at the dreadful driving habits of other road users...:(

Charmed
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Charmed Tuesday, 06 March 2012

app

Yes, being a social network, it's ideal for your situation. Perhaps give it a try and let us know your thoughts?

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