Today at the DEMO conference, waze, Inc. launched the first free service for the majority of smartphone users to offer voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, real time traffic updates and driver-generated reports. The consumer application is now available for a variety of mobile platforms, including Windows Mobile devices. Waze uses driver-contributed data to build road maps and provide real-time traffic information to commuters. Unlike static maps and first-generation traffic networks, waze relies on a community of drivers to both populate the maps and provide daily traffic information.
Previously available as a beta version on Android and iPhone, today marks the first time the service is also available for Symbian and Windows Mobile users. During the beta period, wazers have driven millions of miles, helping validate roads, pave new ones and provided real-time traffic to the rapidly growing network of drivers. As more users download and use the application, the maps and traffic information becomes more robust and accurate. Now that most major smartphone users have access to waze, the service will be able to accelerate user adoption and provide rapid improvements to service coverage.
â€œWe are still in the early days of waze in the US and every new driver helps improve our service for other drivers, so it was obvious that we needed to develop for all major smartphone platforms,â€ said Noam Bardin, the companyâ€™s CEO. â€œWaze users contribute driving information passively via our free mobile application and all members get the benefit of free turn-by-turn navigation and real-time traffic information. In the background, weâ€™re using the data to build real-time driving maps that will radically change the established map market. I would like to thank our enthusiastic and active community for their participation, suggestions, ideas and ongoing support of our project. Together, we can make commuting faster, smarter and a whole lot less frustrating.â€
Waze was one of the first application companies to bring real-time mapping and traffic information to the increasingly crowded â€œnav appâ€ space by providing a free service to consumers that can take the place of traditional, expensive GPS devices. The application works by running on a userâ€™s GPS enabled smartphone to automatically and anonymously sends back GPS points as they drive. This data is used to build and constantly update the road grid, real-time traffic information, driving directions, road changes, traffic flow, and more. This information is collected automatically and anonymously, but drivers can also take a more active role, reporting road events or map inaccuracies easily from their mobile device. Community members can help solve these inaccuracies and manually update the map itself via the web at www.waze.com.