Waze users already know how the navigation app improves journey times by acting on information it receives from local drivers.
Now, UK road authorities are using the app to help improve traffic flow, and give drivers advanced warnings about construction work and road closures.
This is currently happening in the West Midlands, where Waze and its Waze for Cities program will facilitate two-way data sharing between the Google-owned phone application and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).
Routes and journey times are already monitored by authorities like TfWM, but now this data will be supplemented by information provided by Waze, which in turn comes from the application’s users, and what they encounter on the roads.
Traffic Technology Today reports how the partnership lets TfWM “analyse data across the whole of the highway network to reduce congestion, increase road safety, and speed up journey times…Working with Waze as part of this plan will improve communications to people moving around the region and make sure drivers receive real-time, trusted information about their journeys to inform their driving decisions.”
As well as data being fed from Waze to TfWM, the partnership also allows for information to flow the other way. This will see Waze users alerted to road closures, construction work and other factors that might have an impact on their journey time, delivered via the Waze app.
Google Maps also does this, to some extent, indicating where road closures are in place for events like city-centre marathons, but smaller disruptions like roadworks on a residential street aren’t usually mentioned. Waze could help here, thanks to data provided by local councils and road management authorities.
Ru Roberts, Waze UK country manager, said how the partnership means the mapping company can “better support drivers in the region by sharing reliable data about journey times, advance notice on construction and road closures, and real-time updates on incidents affecting their route.”