More on waze

Hello drivers everywhere.



We’re delighted to announce that the waze alpha just opened this week.  But before we get into all that, here’s a quick intro to the waze project.



Why waze?

We started waze because we thought everyday driving is a major pain point that can be significantly improved, and that the most effective way, or maybe the ONLY effective way, to make it better is by empowering drivers.



What’s the problem?

While there seems to be a lot of information out there about road conditions, we  all know it doesn’t really help us with our every-morning dilemma:



1.    What’s happening on the roads right now?

2.    Which route is best for me right now?



The reason it doesn’t really help us is that we already know where to expect traffic (it’s there every day). What we don’t know is how it affects US:  how long our commute will take, whether it’s worth taking an alternative route, and if so, which one is best right now.Also, by the time we hear about an accident on our route, it’s too late to avoid the jam.  And traffic, while very important, is only part of what drivers want to know in real time.



We think drivers can do it better

So we created waze:  the first live driving map created and constantly updated in real time by drivers for drivers.  By empowering drivers, waze creates an integrated dynamic map that will include the information drivers need to know in real time – from traffic to a malfunctioning light to greener routes. But waze is not just about making the information available in real time, it’s about taking this information and translating it into – what route is best for you right now.



Waze is all driver-generated: both the map and the real-time data. Here is how it's done:



  • Drivers simply drive with the waze client running






  • The waze client sends us GPS points that are used to build and update the road map, driving directions, road types, road changes and more.  The map is constantly updated.






  • The GPS points are also used to map traffic jams and flow.






  • Drivers can actively report accidents and other events directly from the scene.






  • Drivers can report map problems and edit the map from the client, though most of the map updating work is done on the web.




The building process is quick, most of it is automatic, and done by drivers who simply have waze running while they drive. GPS Points are gathered and analyzed to form  the map itself and the traffic data.  Drivers can play a more active role if they want (See how the building is done)



Here's how the GPS points are converted to road and of the waze client:



map1map2map3



While some of this functionality is provided within the waze client, in the future we’ll open it up to other developers, who’ll be able to enrich waze with great ideas of their own.



map_traffic



We know this works



If it sounds to you like yet another company with a neat idea, but years away from implementation… that’s not the case. waze first started in Israel, where an enthusiastic community formed and built both the map and the real time data from scratch. waze provides the most accurate traffic information in Israel, and delivers an ETA with an accuracy of over 90%.

You are welcome to join the Alpha. It’s currently limited to android phone users.

2 comments:

  1. wow, looks like a great idea - kinda like dash.net but wider reach.

    any plans to support Windows Mobile any time (and expand the areas supported?)

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  2. Hey,



    Love reading about this. Another reason to buy that iPhone. Couldn't find a contact section on here so here's my thoughts:



    Wondering if it can know speed limits and beep if it knows yer going too fast (or faster then 20km/hr over the limit). Or even better yet, the data showing EVERYONE is going 20km/hr over and to have the sped limit raised in the area for everyone.



    Also love to see major car crash hot spots in this. All the recorded crashes shown on screen so you KNOW the bad spots.



    Was also thinking this info is good for city planner people (which light should get the default green). Also if tied into a city controlled computer system, it could allow packs of cars/trucks to all go together and time the traffic lights so they are green by the time you get there.



    (also thought motion cams 3-4 telephone poles from the light on all directions could allow a green or proper timing to allow the majority through without people stopping for no reason)



    How much does this ap cost on the iPhone guys?



    Love to see top and slowest speeds for roads I often travel. Also seeing traffic by certain times of the day would be useful. Knowing that 15 minutes early will save 45 minutes through a tunnel or across a bridge. Yesterday's/last week's traffic congestion could help me plan my travel route better.



    Thanks for your time,



    Trevor :)

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