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.
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:
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.
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.