Mardi Gras Traffic For 2016

Parades, marching bands, costumes and revelry. Mardi Gras in New Orleans provides it all. While “the greatest free show on earth” is one heck of a good party, road closures and an excess of drivers on the road is a surefire recipe for traffic. Lots and lots of traffic.

We wanted to see if we could help drivers in NOLA find the best driving days (and the worst) in order to avoid the brunt of Mardis Gras Traffic. To check, we analyzed historical data during the week leading up to Mardi Gras 2015 and compared this to a baseline of traffic from four weeks before and after. New Orleans has more than 44,700 active monthly Wazers, collectively contributing over 157,000 alerts and driving over 10.1 million km monthly, so the data is certainly there. Here’s what we found.     

The best day to drive - Tuesday, February 9, the day of Mardi Gras. Last year this day showed no real change in traffic or alerts compared to what would normally be happening on a regular Tuesday.

The worst days to drive - The weekend before Mardi Gras, Friday, February 5th through Sunday, February 7th look to be the worst driving days as historically these days have shown above average app use and seen a significant increase in alerts reported.

Friday, February 5th  - In the past, at this point of time before Mardi Gras, we’ve seen a 166% increase in traffic jams. Avoid this day if you can.

Saturday, February 6th -  Historically we’ve seen a 344% increase in traffic jams and a 69% increase in hazards. If you’re going to drive on Saturday, don’t forget the aspirin.

Sunday, February 7th - This day has shown the mother of all traffic incidents with a 404% (!) increase in traffic jams, a 70% increase in hazards and an 80% increase in accident alerts. If you’re driving on Sunday, please do so with patience and caution!

Football Fever & Massive Traffic On Route To San Francisco

Heads up San Francisco! Football’s biggest game (and major traffic) is headed your way. Road closures will be prevalent in the city starting Friday, January 23 through Thursday, February 11, with many events happening leading up to the game itself on February 7. No need to panic though! The Waze map will be updated to include the most up-to-date road closures and traffic through a new Waze Connected Citizens Partnership with the City of San Francisco. Waze map editors will also be on-the-ground to ensure additional real-time information is recorded within the app.

In addition, any traffic that is worse than usual will be tweeted on our unusual traffic account for San Francisco. If you’re headed to the game, it will be marked with a pin on the map. You can also simply search “BigGame” on Waze for quick navigation and the best route to the stadium.

Waze Announces Transport SDK

This is a big one. Today we’re excited to introduce a Waze Transport SDK (software development kit) which will allow partners to easily implement some of Waze’s most useful features, natively in their own apps. Using the SDK, businesses will be able to improve their own services by utilizing Waze’s ETA, turn-by-turn navigation and preferred routing, all while reducing the friction of having to swap between apps - a common complaint amongst professional drivers.

Who’s on board?

We’re excited to welcome our first set of partners who will be giving their apps a boost with the Waze SDK: Lyft, Genesis Pulse, JustPark, Cornershop, Cabify and 99Taxis.
Spanning nine countries and several different industries, this diverse group of partners highlights the various ways in which the SDK can be used to improve existing services.

Everyone Benefits 

The Waze Transport SDK is a big win for partners, users and of course the whole Waze community. 

For Partners - The Transport SDK can help grow your business. Better optimized routes means more customers served - and in the case of emergency dispatch providers, like Genesis PULSE, could lead to more saved lives. Partners are also empowered to build new features that will make their apps even better.

For Users - Passengers may end up waiting less time for a ride and enjoy a faster, more efficient (and likely the safer) route. Innovative technology is also extremely awesome. Imagine being able to know the exact minute your delivery will arrive at your door.

For the Waze community - Adding hundreds of thousands of professional drivers to an already existing 50 million + Wazers is a surefire way to improve the Waze map and feed even more data back into Waze, which can then help us all drive safer (and smarter) on the road.

The SDK is capable of supporting a partner in any country where Waze has a presence and will be open to all types of partners where Waze believes it can have an impact, for example food delivery, valet parking and more.

Bonus: Special Promo Codes

To celebrate the Waze Transport SDK, Lyft, Cornershop and JustPark are offering Wazers special discounts for trying their services. Lyft is offering $5 on each of your first 10 rides. Cornershop is offering 5000 CLP for Wazers in Chile (promo code WAZECHILE) and 150 MXN for Wazers in Mexico (promo code WAZEMX). Finally JustPark is offering 10 pounds off their services with the code WAZE10 

Learn more about The Waze Transport SDK

Waze Predicts Best & Worst Times to Drive This Christmas

Traffic can be pretty hectic around Christmas time. Interested in hacking holiday driving? We've got you covered. To predict the best and worst times to drive this holiday, Waze analyzed the 2014 app usage millions of Wazers globally during the week of Christmas, as well as the two weeks prior and two weeks following the holiday. Here's what we found:


Traffic got ugly two days before Christmas (19.7% increase in accident alerts, 13.4% increase in traffic jams) and continued to be bad on December 24 (14.4% increase in accident alerts).


  • Best Day to Drive Globally: Friday -- Christmas Day -- is the best day to drive across the globe. In 2014, we saw below app usage the entire day in most countries. Should you live in Germany, Italy or France, be sure to leave well-before 11:00 a.m. when traffic peaks in these countries. 
  • Worst Day to Drive Globally: Wednesday is the worst day to drive. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve seen: 
  • US: We see the largest increase in app usage this day, starting at 11:00 a.m. through end of day. We also see a 19.7% increase in accident alerts and a 13.4% increase in jam alerts nationally. 
  • Brazil: An increase in app usage begins at 8:00 and lasts through end of day. We also see an increase in accident (+88.64%), hazard (+64.95%) and traffic jam alerts (+36.48%).
  • UK: We see the largest increase in app usage this day, starting at 10:00 a.m. through end of day. We do not see, however, an increase in alerts this day.
  • Italy: An increase in app usage begins at 8:00 and lasts through end of day. We also see an increase in accident (+57.46%), hazard (+78.99%) and traffic jam alerts (+59.28%)
  • France: While we see low usage during morning rush hour, there is a large increase in usage between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The highest usage peaks fall between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., as well as 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. We also see a 10.79% increase in hazard reports this day.
  • Germany: We see the largest increase in app usage this day, starting at 11:00 a.m. through 11:00 p.m. The highest peaks fall between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., as well as 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 
  • Spain: An increase in app usage begins at 8:00 a.m. and lasts until the end of the day. The highest usage peaks fall between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., as well as 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. There is also a 46.7% increase in hazard reports this day.

With all that in mind, we hope you manage to spend plenty of time with your loved ones this holiday season (and a little less time in your car). Happy holidays from all of us at Waze!

7 New Navigation Voices - For Wazers, by Wazers

We’re excited to announce the arrival of 7 new Waze navigation voices in 5 languages!
  • Alva & Septi, Bahasa (Indonesian)
  • Agnieska and Jacek, Polish 
  • Roberts Lejasmeijers, Latvian
  • Zoran Modli, Serbian 
  • Marcela Alarc√≥n, Spanish (Colombia/LATAM)

For Indonesia and Serbia, this is the first time local language voice guidance is consistently available in Waze! Polish, Latvian, and Spanish Wazers get revamped voices with a new fresh sound. Who's to thank for this roll-out of new voices? The Waze community, of course!

Yes, that’s right! All of these new voices were 100% initiated and generated by fellow Wazers looking to improve the Waze experience for local users. From finding and choosing the right talent and managing logistics, to the actual recording and working hand-and-hand with the Waze Localization team to ensure quality. This was no small feat!

If you’d like to get involved and improve Waze for users in your local community, get in touch with the Waze Localization team. We’re always looking for help with translations, voice prompts and more. You’ll join a community of Wazers from over 100 countries in all corners of the globe who come together to make Waze feel like home for fellow users.

All seven voices are available in all countries where Waze is used. To give any of these fresh new voices a try, just update your sound settings:
Android: Settings > Sound > Navigation Guidance

iOS: Menu > Settings > Sound > Voice Language

Thanksgiving Driving 2015 - What Are The Best And Worst Times To Drive?

This Thanksgiving, let Waze help you spend more quality time with the ones you love - not more quality time with your car. To predict the best and worst times to drive this holiday, Waze analyzed the 2014 app usage of millions of U.S. Wazers during the week of Thanksgiving, as well as the two weeks prior and two weeks following the holiday.

Findings showed:

Best Day to Travel: Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) is the best time to head out of town as app usage resembles that of a weekend, peaking between 12pm & 4pm. Head out in the morning or evening to avoid congestion.

Worst Days to Travel: Don’t try to leave right after work on Tuesday or Wednesday as many people have the same idea, creating the highest usage of Waze.

Best Day to Head Home: Saturday shows the lightest usage, but if you want to extend your trip through the weekend, early Monday morning is an option as well! Just be sure to leave before 10am to avoid mid-morning rush hour.

Worst Day to Head Home: Watch out for heavy traffic on Sunday. Rush hour lasts all day with the highest peak occurring between 1-6pm.

To further support your travel plans, Waze recently introduced its 4.0 version for iOS - a fresh, cleaner design for easier navigation, reporting and sharing - making Waze the perfect co-pilot for Thanksgiving travel. New features include:

ETA Sharing: Eliminates the need for "Where are you?" texts as Wazers can send ETA via text, email or in-app message before driving quite easily. ETA also self-updates as road conditions change.

Smart Calendar: Wazers can now sync their calendars to receive alerts to incidents that could impact travel and arrival times before you leave the house or work. For Thanksgiving, people can add appointments as to when they'd like to arrive at an airport or Thanksgiving dinner-we'll keep an eye on the traffic and message you if you need to hit the road early.

With all of this in mind, Waze hopes you have happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Waze Releases New Version - Welcome to Waze 4.0!

We've got some exciting news today. Just in time for fall, we've released a new version for the App Store with Android on the way. After installing Waze, you'll immediately notice a newer, cleaner design that makes for easier navigation, reporting, and sharing - you might call it a brand new Waze experience.

Less Taps Needed

We redesigned this version to better serve your driving needs and experience. Now, it takes less taps to access many of Waze's key features.

Tapping the left button pulls up the navigation menu and all of your frequent and favorite destinations. Meanwhile, tapping the right button gives you quick access to your contacts for a number of actions including: Sending directions, your location, and ETA to those awaiting your arrival.

You can view alternate routes, add a stop or let someone know you're on the way from the center button where your ETA time is displayed.

Newly Designed Reporting Menu

The report menu is now located right on the map with a big orange button. The menu is faster with bolder, color-coded categories. Also, there's a quick report action that you can activate by tapping and holding down the report menu.

Reminders to Leave for Events on Time 

Now you can get reminders to leave on time for Calendar events based on traffic. Just sync your Calendar and Waze will be on the lookout for traffic, letting you know when you should hit the road. Remember to add a street address to your event location and you're set.

Minimized Battery Usage

This is a big one! Version 4.0 significantly reduces battery consumption so you can keep Waze fired up without losing your charge.

That’s it. You’re now ready for a new Waze experience. Let us know what you think!