The Waze traffic app is blending its history of community reports with AI to warn drivers if the road they’re on could be especially hazardous.
The Google-owned navigation tool has launched alerts showing the crash history of routes, which will alert drivers if they’re on a road that is particularly accident-prone. Should your route take you onto one of those roads, the app will now push a prompt to users saying “history of crashes” before you reach an area where accidents are more likely.
“Crash injuries are estimated to be the eighth leading cause of death globally – and Wazers around the globe report accidents about every two seconds,” the company said in a blog post.
The idea is to alert drivers to areas where, for instance, turns are tighter than expected or drivers could be entering the road from another street without sufficient visibility. That would alert drivers to possibly slow down or be on their guard to prevent a wreck.
“If your route includes a crash-prone road, we’ll show you an alert before you reach that section of your journey,” the company said. “To minimize distractions, we limit the number of alerts drivers see, and don’t show them on roads they regularly navigate.”
The AI component of the feature is the app will analyze your route and take things like traffic levels and the type of road into account before deciding whether an alert is warranted.
The crash history warnings are just the latest feature Waze has offered drivers. Among the others it has rolled out are one that helps drivers avoid left-hand turns and one to avoid speeding tickets. It was also the first to support carpool lanes.
Most recently, the company made headlines by temporarily disabling live traffic data in Israel “out of consideration for the safety of local communities.”
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