Spotlight on Los Angeles: Solving a Hyperlocal Driving Challenge

Many drivers (and especially LA drivers) know the feeling. You arrive at an intersection with no traffic light, a constant flow of traffic, limited visibility, or some combination of all three. Turning left or going straight becomes a stressful scenario that requires crossing multiple lanes of oncoming traffic. The situation is significantly worse when traffic peaks at rush hour, making it tense and often very difficult to cross or turn. To handle this hyperlocal driving issue, Waze created a new routing feature: difficult intersections. This new feature, rolling out first today in Los Angeles, bypasses difficult intersections when possible, to promote a safer, less stressful drive. How will this affect routing and ETA? The feature is designed to balance an efficient ETA with limiting as many of these difficult intersections as possible. By default, Waze will calculate the best possible route that bypasses a difficult intersection. That being said, when the bypassing route is significantly longer, a driver may still be routed through a difficult intersection. The goal of the feature is to reduce the amount of these intersections, not completely eliminate them. The Difficult Intersections setting is automatically enabled for LA drivers; however Wazers who prefer to drive through all intersections can easily disable the feature in Settings.
To identify which intersections cause Angelenos the most pain, we worked closely with the local map editor and employee community. They shared lists of what they perceived to be the most difficult intersections and provided alternate solutions. We also received a tremendous amount of support from our Connected Citizens Program partner, the City of Los Angeles, who helped us understand this hyperlocal challenge from a municipal perspective. This feature is currently only available in Los Angeles, but we will expand to New Orleans soon and globally as needs are identified by the Waze community. If there is a difficult intersection you think needs attention, let us know by reporting it from the app under Report > Map Issue.
Happy driving, Los Angeles!

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