When we started waze we knew that the problem we are trying to solve is not traffic itself, but the lack of immediate and actionable information about it, the inability to make informed decision, and the frustration and stress that comes as a result.
Daniel Feldman, (from the product group) came across this research that emphasizes how stressful the lack of control can be for commuters.
“A recent study done by Doctor David Lewis, a psychologist and expert on stress, has revealed that commuters can experience greater stress than both fighter pilots and riot police who are preparing to go into battle.
The difference is that when fighter pilots or riot police feel stress they have the advantage of being relatively in control of their situation. Alternatively, commuters who get stuck in unexpected and never ending traffic jams on the way to work often have no control over their situation.
These high levels of stress felt by commuters can take a serious toll on their health. Long hours of commuting can lead to high blood pressure and can even increase the risks of heart attacks. Long commutes to work are also associated with increased anger and resentment at work, absenteeism, musculoskeletal disorders, lateness, depression and even the flu.”
As soon as waze will be fully operational in the US (we’re now alphaing and are expecting to go public in a couple of months), It will be interesting to see if this increased amount of control will lead waze users to experience lower levels of stress and fewer health problems compared to the average daily waze-less commuter. We hope stress experts are paying close attention.