Crowdsourced Driving Alerts Make You Happier

Can sharing real-time traffic info with other drivers on the road actually make you happier?

We were very glad to find out that the answer to that is a resounding YES, according to a report by the New Cities Foundation (NCF) in San Jose, CA on "Connected Commuting."

Urban traffic and commuting difficulties are problems that plague not only the individual driver, but adversely affect the entire country’s infrastructure. More than $100 billion is lost due to wasted fuel, carbon emissions and lost opportunity costs each year. Delays in the US cost commuters an average of 34 hours a year. When you look at these trends globally, according to the NCF study, the costs multiply.

Setting out to address the costly problems posed by commuting and traffic, the NCF has set up a Task Force on “Connected Commuting” with Ericcson, the San Jose Department of Transportation, the University of California Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), mobile app Roadify — and us.

Its first initiative, to investigate the ways in which commuters share information in real-time, proved that sharing information on your drive makes for a “more enjoyable commuting experience.”

In short, the report says that connected car commuters using Waze, Roadify or other apps to share traffic info are happier than unconnected drivers. Moreover, these same driver are “very open to sharing (and receiving) information with people,” while unconnected drivers are more skeptical of crowdsourcing their commute info.

By analyzing nearly 115,000 Wazer reports in the city of San Jose over a two-year period, the study found that most reports implied a “positive” sentiment by drivers. Interestingly, it also looked at the break down of report types.

In its list of findings and recommendations, the NCF recommends that government transportation agencies should increasingly consider crowdsourcing in how they address mobility and transportation issues.

Read the full report here.

So, what do you think? Has connecting with other drivers while using Waze made your commute more enjoyable?

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