Chicago (IL) – Waze has unveiled a mobile platform for the creation of live maps in the United States. The new app utilizes driver-generated data to build navigable road maps and provide real-time traffic information.
“While a lot of information is available about road conditions, it doesn’t really help us with our every-morning dilemma – what’s really happening on the roads, how long will our commute take today, and which route is best right now? Waze is a network of drivers who work together to save time – everyone contributes and everyone benefits,” said Waze CEO Noam Bardin. “By aggregating the status of all connected wazers, such as GPS traces and active reporting of speed traps or road hazards, we can build and share back a real-time or ‘live’ map which reflects the current state of the roads, finds the best route and guides the waze members though it in their daily driving.”
Mark Fitzgerald of Strategy Analytics explained that Waze had developed a viable alternative to traditional GPS maps.
“The market for navigation technologies is quickly shifting to connected devices, led by the proliferation of GPS-enabled smartphones with always on broadband access. The traditional map making technologies are labor intensive thus expensive,” said Fitzgerald. “Real-time maps used for connected device applications face price pressure to provide cost-effective navigation and traffic solutions. A user community-driven approach to map and road information can provide both the functionality and the free-to-consumer cost structure to serve as the map for the mobile generation, just as Wikipedia serves as the Encyclopedia for the Internet generation.”
Waze first launched its mobile application in Israel where it has been downloaded by over 80,000 commuters. The company is currently offering a private alpha version of the app in San Francisco, Chicago and Boston. However, a public beta, which is slated for release in the near future, will be available for iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile devices.