The Bulletin

Google Maps adds real-time traffic alerts from Waze

Posting in Technology
Google has started integrating some features from Waze, the social mapping and navigating startup it purchased in June, into Google Maps.

Waze's real-time incident reports -- updates from its users on construction, traffic and accidents -- will now appear on Google Maps for Android, iPad and iPhone, according to a Waze blog post. In turn, Waze's social driving app has added some Google features, including Google Search and Google Maps Street View.

When the app's users (known as Wazers) report accidents, road closures and other problems on Waze, the updates also will appear on the Google Maps app for Android and iOS in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and United States.

The Waze app offers users the best, shortest routes by tapping into a mobile device’s GPS information and a social network of other drivers to learn about traffic hazards and other potential slowdowns up ahead. As Waze puts it, “it’s like a personal heads-up from a few million of your friends on the road.”

As I noted back in June, Google Maps already has traffic congestion alerts. But incorporating Waze's driver-generated alerts turns Google Maps into a more responsive and valuable service.

The speed of the integration between Google and Waze is surprising given that the deal, which was worth a reported $1.1 billion, is being reviewed retroactively by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

— By on August 20, 2013, 3:54 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure