Waze tweaks its app with some new features

On the occasion of its Waze On event, which took place on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, the route search and optimization application for motorists presented its latest features. The idea for Waze is also to show that the use of its application is picking up again after a sharp slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has led to the implementation of numerous containment measures around the world.

In France, the application acquired by Google in 2013 is now accessible via Google Assistant. A feature that was already available but only in English and is now also in Spanish, Portuguese and French. This avoids having to handle your smartphone while driving.

Recommendation and personalization

Waze equips its application with a new feature “Lane Guidance” which indicates to the driver the lane in which he must position himself. A useful tool to avoid missing an exit or missing the line in town which is already available on competing services. This feature has not been implemented in the same way “in Bulgaria and the United Kingdom than in Brazil and France”, comments Hila Roth, Head of Waze Communities. The application, which relies heavily on its communities, can also count on them to adapt new functionalities. “depending on the culture of the countries”, she adds.

Waze also claims to have improved the estimated time of arrival. Like Google Maps (which shares the same infrastructure), Waze has seen its traffic estimates heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the company does not specify how it optimized its algorithms. On their usual journeys, the user can be informed by sending a notification of an unusual slowdown and the notification will suggest that they leave early to arrive on time. “The more drivers use Waze, the better the recommendations”, assures Rapha Cohen, Chief Product Officer.

In recent days, it has been possible to plan a trip on the Waze map available on the web and save it on the application. Users receive a notification to let them know when to leave or tell them to leave early if the road is congested and the app also recommends the best time to leave.

Development of Waze carpool

In Brazil, Mexico and Israel, the three countries where Waze has launched its carpooling solution, drivers can adjust the price they want to offer based on a recommendation made by Waze. And it is possible to automatically accept carpooling requests by default. In Israel the application informs the driver if ever a carpooler searches for a trip on the route he is making. The driver can then choose to pick up the person or not.

Waze has also moved closer to Moovit: a partnership allowing users of this application to let drivers know that they are looking for a carpooling. This new function will be offered first in Israel, then in other countries where Waze Carpool is available. For now, says Hila Roth, the Israeli company does not plan to deploy its carpooling tool in another country.

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