Outsmart Memorial Weekend Traffic with Waze

The holiday traffic forecast is in, Wazers. If you'll be stateside during the unofficial state to summer, pay extra attention to when and where you're headed on the road.

Thanks to 2017 data, we've found that after 12PM local time, peak traffic congestion begins—and continues throughout the long weekend. Your best bet for beating the holiday traffic? Hit the road extra early and whenever possible, avoid the worst times to drive:

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Wondering where all these Wazers are, well, Waze-ing to? For many, Memorial Day Weekend marks the beginning of the blockbuster season. So whether you're just looking to escape the heat or itching to catch a premiere, we recommend going extra early this weekend to snag a seat (with time left for snacks!). 

#ProTip: if you Waze all the way to your parking spot, the app will pin and save your location. In other words...no dreaded Seinfeld reenactments when you head back to the car!

The movie theater isn't the only place you can expect an influx of Wazers on Memorial Day Weekend. From beaches to theme parks, many of you are also hitting the great outdoors this holiday. 

No matter where you're traveling, in the seriously unfortunate event of trouble on the road (flat tire, empty gas tank, lockout, you get the idea), you've got help (literally) at your fingertips, thanks to our in-app service provider: Allstate. Head to the Roadside Help Alert in your Waze Alert Menu for access to 24/7 road assistance. And don't worry: you don't need to be a customer of Allstate to request these services. 'Cause who doesn't want a holiday weekend sans the extra stress?

Drive safely, Wazers.

Waze's 50th Language: It's a Tie!

50 Languages to Waze With

The Waze Community, aka the everyday heroes behind the app, have helped build Waze into the real-time, social navigation tool that saves you time whenever you hit the road. And today, their dedication has helped usher in another milestone moment: Waze is now available in more than 50 languages, including all-new additions Azerbaijani and Uzbek. 

Thanks to the commitment of more than 700 passionate translators over the last 9 years, Waze has gone from one language (not even a voice prompt!) to representing nearly every corner of the Earth. With each new voice and language added, the app has become more open and more accessible to new groups across the world, helping us grow to 100M users strong. And as our data shows, our community is as diverse as our voices: 

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Our journey to reach 51 languages has been anything but dull. Along the way, we've learned a lot—improving the process to make collaboration easier (and quicker!), and revisiting old voices to make sure we're giving Wazers the best experience we can. But enough from us—we think the folks from our community tell the story best...

Hungarian translator and Map Editor, Wazer Marcedli shares his early experiences with the Waze Community: 
"Coming from a country where most of the people only speak one language, the key to making Waze popular was to translate it. And not only the application, but all the features too...in the early days, when it was easier to edit on Android devices, we even had another Hungarian Wazer get creative, and create voices packs for R2D2 and Chewbacca. Even though it was hard to understand any guidance, laughing and satisfaction were both guaranteed while driving."
A first-time translator, Wazer Calandraca, helped bring Galician (a romance language spoken primarily by people in the northwest region of Spain) to the world of navigation apps for the first time. She shares:
"It was a challenge for me. It was my first translation experience for a mobile application and my first collaborator didn't actually know the language. But with help from another Wazer, we did it all: translating, recording the voice, and beta testing. I do it because Waze is full of lovely people!" 
Community member Dewitg explains why he decided to join the Waze Community as part of the team that translated Waze into Spanish and Catalan:
"To help Waze, and people speaking my language get places easier. Waze is a good navigation app, but the magic of Waze is really behind the screen. Waze has an amazing community of fantastic people, and I feel lucky to have met so many of them." 
Greek translator Enfant_Terrible describes what motivated him as he translated (and recorded!) his very own Waze Voice:
"I actually recorded my own demo of Greek voice prompts, before even knowing about the international community behind Waze's localization. My inspiration was Stephen Colbert and his hilarious celeb guest voice prompts. I just loved every minute of driving with them on!"
Big and small, each interaction a Wazer has with the app makes an impact. If you're interested in going big and doing your part to make Waze more accessible to people around the world, join our Localization Community. And for up-to-date information from the world of Waze, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.   

Driving Smarter and Greener with Waze for ZTL & Crit'Air

Hot off the heels of out locally-tailored Waze navigation features for the US, Canada, Indonesia and Brazil, we're excited to share that today we've begun to roll out "Zona a Traffico Limitato" (ZTL) routing in Italy and Crit'Air navigation in France. Together, these help more Wazers than ever drive greener and avoid hefty fines.

To help ease congestion and improve air quality in busy zones, cities around the the world have begun implementing laws that restrict driving based on time of day, proximity to historical monuments, and other local needs.

Thanks to our hardworking Waze Community—who updated the Waze Map with nuanced restrictions for ZTL and Crit'Air—it's much easier to follow the rules and avoid expensive fines. Whether you're a local, a tourist, or on an epic road trip, these features are here for you.

All you have to do is update your pass information in the Waze app (just once) to get the most efficient route based on local rules of the road—and Waze real-time traffic alerts you know and love. We're not encouraging procrastination, but even if you choose not to add your pass (but really, you should add it), Waze will alert you if your route takes you within a ZTL or Crit'Air zone.

Driving in France? 
Currently available in Paris, Lyon, and Grenoble (more cities coming soon!), Waze Crit'Air navigation will alert you in the following scenarios:

  1. Permanent areas restricting vehicle access Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm, known as 'ZCR.'
  2. Dynamic areas added to the permanent perimeters and enforced when pollution levels are severe, known as 'ZPA.'
To ensure you're getting Waze alerts for high air pollution, and Crit'Air-optimized routes, add your pass today. And don't forget the most important step: sharing the news of Waze Crit'Air navigation because all your friends, family, coworkers, and taxi drivers deserve to know there's an easier way to outsmart Crit'Air zones. 

Riding through the streets of Italy? 
For Wazers of Rome and Milan (more coming soon!), the ZTL navigation uses a combination of factors to determine your best, fine-free route. Including: 
  • City
  • Time of day
  • Permit type
  • Vehicle type
Make sure you're ZTL-compliant by adding your pass information to the Waze app. Then, pay it forward. Share your knowledge of Waze ZTL navigation with the world—on social media, at your office, with friends & family—because everyone's money is meant for better things than paying fines. 

Wazers, we work hard to make your in-car experience the best it can be—whether you're road tripping around the world or headed to the grocery store. Stay updated on the latest and greatest from Waze when you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Waze Celebrates 600 Connected Citizens Program Partners

We're excited to share that our Connected Citizens Program has reached a major milestone: 600 partners from across 50 countries. Since we launched with 10 city partners in October 2014, our free, two-way data exchange program has grown quickly. Today, we're averaging approximately one new partner per day!

Our Connected Citizens partners have made us proud in more ways than we have room to mention. But here are a few inspiring examples of how partners have worked with our Waze Community to drive change for nearly 1 billion people around the world, using creativity, ingenuity and the power of collaboration to make a difference:

  • Ghent, Belgium reshaped their city center to make the city safer, reduce traffic, and improve air quality. After implementing 2,000 road and sign changes, the city has reported 20% fewer accidents, 27% more cyclists, and a 15% increase in bus & tram usage. 
  • Magen David Adom, Israel cut emergency response time to help people in need get help faster. After only a 1-month pilot, Magen David Adom dispatched ambulances to 300 car accidents using Waze alert data arriving on average 10-15% faster than other equivalent channels. 
  • Jakarta, Indonesia instated new policies to help cut the estimated $15B+ cost of traffic, leveraging learnings from Waze programs in Rio de Janeiro. The resulting odd/even license plate policy has increased average traffic speeds by 20%, reduced traffic volume by 15%, and decreased travel time by 19% on road segments where the policy is active. 
United by the goal to better serve communities around the world, our Connected Citizens partners have helped grow the program from a data-sharing initiative with Waze to a knowledge-sharing platform where they can apply learnings from across the world to their local communities. But don't take it from us—hear why a few of our most recent program inductees decided to become a partner. In their words: 
"At The Alan Turing Institute we're working with Waze and the Greater London Authority on a project to better estimate and forecast air pollution in the capital. Traffic data from Waze and Transport for London will enable us to build a more accurate picture of key areas and levels of pollution. Our ambition is that this initiative, which is taking place as part of our data-centric engineering program, will significantly support efforts to understand and improve air quality in the capital."—Theo Damoulas, Turing Fellow and Assistant Professor of Data Science at the University of Warwick
"For the National Infrastructure Agency, it is very important to inform all citizens about new roads, which is why the work we have done with Waze through the Connected Citizens Program has been successful and strategic. It has become a great synergy that has strengthened communications with users...allowing us to interact with information in real-time and inform citizens about incidents at the road level, airports and ports."—Office of Communications and Equipment of Information Systems and Technology at the National Infrastructure Agency of Colombia. 
As you may have guessed, we're not slowing down. We're committed to giving away our products & data to help people and municipalities around the world solve congestion problems and rethink mobility.

Want to help us reach the next 600? Encourage your city to become the next Connected Citizens Program partner and join our effort to build the cities of tomorrow.

Waze Carpool Expands Service to Washington State

Waze Carpool now live in Washington to
connect riders and drivers for an easier, more affordable commute 

[MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.] – March 20, 2018 – Waze, the free, real-time navigation app powered by 100 million monthly active users, announced today the expansion of Waze Carpool to Washington state, connecting riders and drivers for an easier, more affordable commute while reducing the strain on the roads and environment.

Currently available in California, Texas, and Israel, the Waze Carpool community-focused approach makes it fun and simple for Wazers to save time and money on their commute while tackling the root of all traffic issues: too many cars on the road. With more than 375,000 monthly active Wazers in Seattle alone, Waze Carpool will call upon its Washington users to ride together and share trips happening anyway.

“Waze has always been about outsmarting traffic, together,” said Noam Bardin, Chief Wazer. “With Waze Carpool, we are expanding our mission to ending traffic, altogether. Traffic is a universal problem affecting our well-being, environment, and economy. However, there is a solution that can improve the quality of everyone's daily commute—with Waze Carpool, we are getting extra cars off the road, while helping people save time, money, and the environment."

Waze has deep roots in Washington and begins service working closely with allies that share a vision for the future of mobility, including: The Office of Governor Jay Inslee, Washington State Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Transportation, King County Metro, Kirkland, Commute Seattle, and the Tacoma Dome.

The Waze Carpool experience seamlessly builds on the many features that make Waze the leading real-time navigation app, including an industry-first HOV functionality that incorporates carpool lanes into routing & ETA calculations. Through a simple, 3-step process users are in control—finding, connecting, and riding with fellow Wazers on their commute.

Features of Waze Carpool include:

  • Choose your fellow carpooler: Riders or drivers can choose their carpool buddy based on profiles, star ratings, number of mutual friends, and customizable filters such as same gender and coworker. 
  • Optimized routes: Using the real-time traffic updates and HOV routing of Waze, riders and drivers enjoy the fastest route, every time. 
  • Reduced commute costs: With all payments handled securely through the app, riders pay for an affordable trip, while drivers get money for gas (up to $15 per ride) 

Download Waze (for drivers) and Waze Rider (for passengers) on iOS or Android. New registrants will receive a free ride upon download. Bonuses include $30 for a successful Driver referral and an extra ride for a Rider referral.

To find out more about Waze Carpool, visit waze.com/carpool.

About Waze 
Waze is the social navigation pioneer, leveraging mobile technology and a passionate global community to redefine expectations of today’s maps. Waze is home to the world’s largest network of drivers who work together daily to outsmart traffic and save time and money. The app consistently recommends the fastest routes based on real-time driving and data from millions of users. From traffic reroutes to low gas price alerts and relevant offers from favorite brands, Waze is one of the most comprehensive driving companions in the marketplace.

Partner Quotes 

“Washington State embraces innovation that helps reduce traffic, and we welcome technology like the new Waze Carpool app that gives the traveling public more choices.” - Charles Knutson, Executive Policy Advisor to Governor Inslee 

“Innovative tools like Waze Carpool are a great example of using technology to help our growing transportation needs. We have found that many of the people who live in Kirkland work outside the city, and many of the people who work in Kirkland live elsewhere. The City of Kirkland seeks both public and private partners to help people get where they want to go without relying on single-occupancy vehicles.” - Kirkland’s Deputy Mayor, Jay Arnold 

“One of Seattle’s great successes is having so many options for people to get around. Our rich environment of great transit, bikeshare, rideshare and carshare helps commuters optimize their day while reducing their footprint. That environment is getting even richer today with the launch of Waze Carpool. On-demand carpooling at the touch of a button is a fast, convenient and low-cost option for people who currently drive alone. We applaud all efforts to help people travel smarter and keep Seattle moving.” - Jonathan Hopkins, Executive Director of Commute Seattle 

“With the introduction of Waze Carpool, we are looking forward to growing our partnership with Waze as their inaugural arena partner. As a Global Event Partner, thousands of concertgoers have already engaged the Waze app to navigate to the Tacoma Dome. We are pleased to offer fans another innovative tool to share a ride and share their experience while helping to reduce the traffic associated with large-scale events.” - Kim Bedier, Director for Tacoma Venues & Events, City of Tacoma 

“Metro welcomes the addition of new mobility providers to help people travel more efficiently and save time and money. As a piece of the mobility solution, we are exploring new partnerships with carpooling app companies to give commuters more options, increase access to transit, and make our transportation system work better for everyone.” - Christina O’Claire, King County Metro’s Assistant General Manager for Planning and Customer Service

Waze Carpool Rolls into Washington State

Today, we're excited to share Waze Carpool is live in Washington State. 

Why Washington? Waze already has a strong community of Wazers in Washington—more than 375K strong in Seattle alone—who use Waze every day to shave precious minutes off their commute. And with traffic becoming increasingly worse throughout the state, Waze Carpool will help Washington Wazers save even more time via the carpool lane, while making the most of their time on the road, catching up with a neighbor or coworker on-the-go.

Bringing Waze Carpool to Washington was possible thanks in huge part to our allies across the state. With the support of our local partners, including: The Office of Governor Jay Inslee, Washington State Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Transportation, King County Metro, Kirkland, Commute Seattle, and the Tacoma Dome; we can make our shared vision for the future of mobility, a reality. In the words of two of our partners:

"Washington State embraces innovation that helps reduce traffic, and we welcome technology like the new Waze Carpool app that gives the traveling public more choices." 
- Charles Knutson, Executive Policy Advisor to Governor Inslee 
"One of Seattle's great successes is having so many options for people to get around. Our rich environment of great transit, bikeshare, rideshare, and carshare helps commuters optimize their day while reducing their footprtint. That environment is getting even richer today with the launch of Waze Carpool. On-demand carpooling at the touch of a button is a fast, convenient and low-cost option for people who currently drive alone. We applaud all efforts to help people travel smarter and keep Seattle moving." 
- Jonathan Hopkins, Executive Director of Commute Seattle 
So, ready to make the most of your commute? Good news: you can get carpooling in just 3 steps. All it takes is a one-time account setup (you can connect your Facebook or Google/Gmail account) and adding your headshot.

Not ready to commit to being a driver vs. a rider? You can seamlessly move between apps—Waze Carpool for riders & Waze for drivers—with the top toggle, depending on your daily preference and schedule. Ambidextrousness is encouraged!

Start riding: 

  1. Browse profiles of drivers, clicking on each individual for additional details like shared interests & reviews from past riders. 
  2. Request a ride from as many drivers as you'd like. (#ProTip: the more requests, the better the chance of finding a match). And if you're the plan-ahead type, you can schedule up to 5 days in advance.
  3. Wait for the driver to respond & coordinate any final details with your fellow Wazer (not a computer.)
Start driving: 

  1. Browse profiles of riders on your route, organized into a helpful list that arranges your closest Wazers first on your list.
  2. Offer a ride. #ProTip: you can offer rides to multiple people at once. You'll be matched with whoever accepts first. 
  3. Wait for a rider to respond & communicate any final details with a fellow carpooler before enjoying your carpool. 
Washingtonians, remember Waze Carpool is totally new to your area, so if you don't see anyone on your route now, that just means you need to help us spread the word...

Share referrals and everybody gets a #WazeWin. Just look for the ๐ŸŽin your app menu and you'll get a free ride for every friend that rides with Waze Carpool or a $30 bonus for every friend that drives with Waze. Thanks for sharing with all your friends, family members, and coworkers!

See you in the carpool lane,
The Waze Carpool Team 

The New Waze Carpool

Today, we’re excited to share that a new Waze Carpool is here, and totally redesigned with you in mind. Though the experience has changed, our mission has not: we want to make it easy and fun for Wazers to commute together while saving time, money, and the environment—and ultimately putting an end to traffic.

So, what’s changed? The new Waze Carpool is all about choosing the right experience for you. You asked, we listened. And there’s a lot more to come, but new features include:

  • No more blind matching: yep, you’re in control! You can see drivers and riders going your way, and choose the people you want to carpool with based on detailed profiles, star ratings, and connections like same workplace and mutual friends—along with price and distance off route. Your best matches (closest to your route) will appear at the top. 
  • Customize your ride: we’ve added filters so you can choose to ride with coworkers only, or opt to select a driver of the same gender. Lots more options coming soon. 
  • Improve your chances to find a match: now, you can send multiple ride or drive requests and easily access your calendar view. 
Need a few more reasons to give it a go? Waze Carpool will help you make the most of your commute. It’s often the most affordable commuting choice for riders, and an easy way to earn gas money if you’re behind the wheel. It’s also a great way to meet your neighbors, network with coworkers, and know you’re doing good by your city by filling empty seats in your car and eliminating vehicles on the road.

Download the new Waze Carpool app today and see who’s on your route.

Once you try it, don’t be shy! Please tell us what you think over on Facebook. It’s your feedback that helps us improve and continue to make Waze Carpool a better experience for you. You can also say hi to us on Twitter and Instagram.