Running late but stuck behind construction sites that the GPS didn’t recognize? For London motorists, this could soon be a problem of the past.
Waze has partnered with Transport for West Midlands, allowing the Google-owned navigation app to receive data about road closures, road works and other delays directly from the road authority. However, this only works on routes between the Midlands and London.
Given Londoners’ average commute time of well over an hour, the city’s 20-mile limit and countless cyclists and pedestrians, such information could prove extremely helpful during rush hours.
Ru Roberts, Waze UK Country Manager, said the partnership will allow the company to better support drivers “by sharing reliable data on travel times, advance notices of roadworks and road closures, and real-time updates on incidents affecting their route “.
Currently, Waze users rely on other users to report traffic incidents. But as any Waze driver will know, these flags aren’t always precise or comprehensive, which can make a world of difference in a busy city like London.
The partnership means motorists will no longer be likely to encounter the unexpected roadworks that seem to pop up daily in populated but heavily trafficked areas like Islington and Hackney.
While apps like Google Maps and TomTom can already detect major traffic incidents such as accidents or even road closures by relying on user driving data, they have not yet been able to warn drivers of residential street closures, for example.
The data sharing partnership will also go the other way, with Waze sharing data collected from the platform’s users with TfWM. The highways authority said this will help it “analyze data across the entire highway network to reduce congestion, improve road safety and reduce travel times.”
Should London City Councils form such a partnership with Waze, it will likely make a major contribution to the city’s status the busiest city in Europe.