Waze, the developers of the first social driving-navigation app, has launched a new feature that brings user-generated voice alerts to drivers, helping to avoid hazardous roads.
In case you’re not up to speed, the Waze app offers voice guided turn by turn navigation, real-time traffic conditions, speed traps and possible hazards, collected from the Waze community of drivers. The entire concept of the network is built on the “help a brother out” attitude and wouldn’t be of any value without the support of its well engaged user-base.
The user-generated information found within Waze is so useful, it’s even feeding real-time traffic news to TV stations. Back in September, the 2.6 million strong network of Waze drivers began to syndicate data to Florida’s NBC2 to provide its viewers with up-to-the-minute information.
The latest feature for iPhone users that rolled out today, enables drivers to create voice-based hazard reports including dangerous obstacles, weather conditions and accidents. Using the new reporting feature, users simply record a quick voice message and through the power of GPS, the voice alert will notify any Waze driver before they arrive at a danger zone.
We spoke with Michal Habdank-Kolaczkowski, the director of communications for Waze and he said that in NewYork State, there were over 58,000 accidents caused by dangerous environmental conditions in 2009 alone.
Waze’s newest update is great for commuters and users. For reporting, it’s easier to record a message by voice especially if you’re driving. And we all know texting while driving isn’t a good idea. Anything that helps you avoid hazardous roads or bad driving conditions is a major win. The app is available for free on a variety of handsets through Waze’s site.
Everyday, drivers are faced with any number of dangers on the road including ice, accidents, and flooding for example. The unpredictable nature of these hazards and lack of immediate road data leaves drivers vulnerable to the conditions ahead,.. the only way this information can be collected and distributed in real-time is by the initiative of group-minded individuals and a means to warn their fellow drivers. — Noam Bardin, CEO of Waze.
Updates to Android, Symbian, Blackberry and WinMo editions will be announced soon.