We often get thank you notes from users that discover, over a particular incident, the real power of waze, based on our smart, real-time re-routing. The typical story starts with a huge jam, in a place you know. Suddenly waze suggests you make a turn onto a place that seems totally unlikely…. and saves your day! we get many of these stories.
Here’s one posted yesterday by a newbie wazer nicknamed rtwolfe:
“I added Waze to my iphone last weekend and already it helped me out of a big problem. I had to be at my daughter’s school, about 35 miles from my work today. I was going to be travelling over the noon hour and traffic is usually light. Nevertheless, I left early and gave myself an extra 20 minutes to get there, just in case the traffic was unusually slow. You can guess where this is going.
My work is on the east side of St Paul and as I was driving past the state capitol, I saw, on the freeway overhead message board, that there was an accident near the University of Minnesota and the freeway was limited to one lane, instead of the usual 4 lanes. Ought Oh… The sign didn’t say which side of the freeway was open and I thought I had extra time so I just drove my usual route.
I was about 4 miles from the U of M, the traffic slowed to a crawl and then stopped. Of course, I was in the left most lane. Trying to be helpful to others, I told Waze about to the Traffic jam and, when I was stopped, even sent a comment that ‘people should take an alternative route’ and ‘that the left lanes were slowest’. But, as I watched the time ticking away, it became clearer that I was not going to make it, if I stayed on the freeway. It was cool to watch I-94 turn from Yellow to Red, underneath my car icon, but….. And there must have been another Wazer ahead of me because I could see it was still Red and getting Redder ahead of me. So, with this real time knowledge about road conditions from Waze, I ‘made my move’.
I cut right and kept moving through the rightmost lanes until I was in the faster rightmost lane. I knew staying on the freeway was futile, so I exited at a midtown exit that is near the U of M. I graduated from the U so I had a vague idea of the neighborhood but I could see that I was not the only ‘smart guy’ who was ‘making a move’. The backup of traffic leading to the stoplight on University Avenue, the main local road, was horrendous. But I had my Waze!
The area where I exited was an older industrial area. Warehouses, trailer yards, pretty lousy potholed ‘roads’ used by the truckers…. but the Waze on line map showed me a ‘road’ that cut left and ran parallel to University Ave. Well, I could lose 15 minutes waiting to get to the stoplight or ‘go for it’. Yep, I got out of the long line for the stoplight, zoomed up the left side to the turn lane for the ‘trucker road’. No one else was taking this route! I cut onto the trucker road. Blasted down the side streets, with Waze showing me the way. Waze showed me the name of a street 4 blocks ahead of me, that would lead me to a road I knew.
And here’s the amazing part. 2 block ahead there was a Waze Cupcake! that I had to drive through. So, ate the cupcake, *(love the sound), found my road, zoomed to the freeway entrance that I believed would be clear of the trafffic jam. Blasted back on the freeway and, I was right, the roadway was clear.
Bottom Line. I made it to Lucy’s school with 1 minute to spare. I left 20 minutes early but without Waze I’m sure I would have been 20 minutes late.
I was on time. Lucy got to hear her dad read the Jackie Robinson story Teammates to her 1st grade classmates. Joy!
Thank you! A new loyal Waze user.”