Google-owned navigation application Waze is sort of like Google Maps, but with crowd-sourced information about accidents, traffic, hazards, speed traps thrown in for good measure. Drivers on the road report incidents in real time, which other users corroborate (or report as false) based on their own observations. It’s a fairly reliable system that only gets better with more data, which is why Toronto, Canada Mayor John Tory announced on Monday that the city will supply Waze with statistics from its traffic operations center.
It’s Mr. Tory’s hope that the partnership will help tackle Toronto’s congestion problem, which has been blamed on an influx of commuters. It’ll go both ways: Waze’s 560,000 Toronto-based users will supply a huge amount of anonymized insights to the city’s urban planners, who will use it to improve infrastructure and make other changes. And in the meantime, Waze will route drivers away from gridlocked areas of the city and get the word out about traffic and road closures, highway maintenance, and pilot projects.
“For the first time, the City is sharing its traffic data with Waze and Waze users,” said Mr. Tory. “This partnership will give our traffic operations centre better visibility into traffic patterns and provide Waze users enhanced information to plan and adjust their commute. Over the last three years, we have finally focused on fighting traffic in Toronto and improving commute times.”
It’ll be coordinated through Waze’s growing Connected Citizens Program, which has partnered with traffic authorities in New York, Rio de Janeiro, Ghent, and others across the globe.
“Waze was founded on the belief that we can outsmart traffic together,” said Mike Wilson, Waze Canada’s country manager. “Our partnership with the City of Toronto will empower drivers with real-time information on routes, traffic alerts and road closures to get them to their destination on time. Additionally, by leveraging Waze insights, the City will now have greater visibility into traffic patterns and will be able to make better planning decisions.”
Follow the source link for the press release about Tuesday’s news.
City of Toronto Press Release
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