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February 27, 2013

How GPS Users Can Save Others from Traffic Mistakes

By Ashley Caputo, TMCnet Web Editor

Remember the days when families took road trips using maps, (yes, paper maps) without the help of a GPS device or mobile phone? Some of us do, while others were born into a generation with cars that were equipped with GPS systems, or even more recently, mobile applications that have replaced the need to purchase a GPS device.

Waze, a mobile application that uses data to build maps and provide traffic information, has introduced a new feature that will allow users to immediately report road closures. Users already have the ability to report accidents, so this is just another extension of engagement where road closures can be reported in a more official manner.

Waze is a social traffic and navigation app that has the world’s largest community of drivers who give real-time information about traffic updates and road information, which allows users to take an active role in their driving experience.

Image via TechCrunch

In order to alert the Waze community, users can drop a pin icon on a location and have the option to provide more information. Since this road block has the possibility of drastically changing a driver’s route and daily activities, the idea that random users could have such control might produce a sense of insecurity. However, to subdue that feeling, Waze will only mark a road as closed until enough drivers, specifically those who have a established a honest reputation in the community, have reported the incident.

A navigation application, on first glance, doesn’t seem like a platform where users can engage with one another. Yet Waze has changed that belief and has created a community where a sense of trust can be built and users rely on each other for immediate updates about traffic and their driving routes.

Who knew that a navigation app could be transformed into a social platform?

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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