[Where 2.0] Yesterday, Waze unveiled its free real time driver-generated maps application for the United States. Waze launched a private alpha program for its mobile application, that collects driver-generated data to provide accurate real time information about road conditions, traffic, street closures and more. Installed on drivers’ smartphones, Waze automatically communicate GPS point anonymously as they drive, collecting driving speed to determine traffic and road conditions. Drivers can update the maps and report road problems in one click (see picture).
The application is already widely used in Israel by 80,000 commuters who created the entire navigable map from scratch within less than a year. Waze has launched an alpha version of its mobile application in San Francisco, Chicago and Boston and you can sign up at www.waze.com. There are plans to open it to the general public in the coming months, and it will soon be accessible to developers via APIs as well.
Dash Express tried to build a specific two-way connected hardware to create this kind of drivers network that updates maps in real time, and they did not make it, it is obviously easier and faster to only develop the software for existing wirelessly connected mobile devices.
Mobile Application Features
- “Live” street maps which will update with road closures or other road changes
- Real-time traffic – for highway and city streets – instantly communicated by other waze users who are actually on the road
- Scrolling traffic and road condition updates
- Driver-contributed information about speed traps, traffic, and other roadside hazards
- Ability to post information directly to Twitter and share real-time photos