Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Waze Fix Avoids Difficult Intersections

No more insanely difficult left turns onto boulevards with no traffic signals


LA Traffic is nothing to sneeze at.

If you've ever driven with Waze, you've noticed two things: Your wife constantly yells at you to put down the phone, and the Waze App directs you to "difficult intersections." Meaning you have to take a left turn off of some small street, onto Olympic Blvd. At rush hour.

From now on, the default setting on Waze will avoid "risky turns," and instead allow you to make a series of right turns, or another alternate route. Users may disable this feature, if they're just totally mad. Note that "difficult intersections", like "risky situations," are official Waze terminology.

Los Angeles has long been a city where it's difficult to predict how long it will take to get from point A to point B. 10% of Los Angeles drivers use Waze to make life just a little easier. So the new feature has launched here.

Not encouraging drivers to travel down smaller roads without have signals might also help make homeowners on these streets happy. Many claim Waze has over time, increased traffic on their streets. While it could be an effect, said Waze’s Julie Mossler, “we do not want to tie the two together as the new feature was not intended to address the neighborhood concern.”

The company will also work on a feature in Brazil that alerts drivers through high crime areas, says Mossler, after an older Brazilian woman was murdered after she was directed to drive through a high crime area.

Thanks, but if Waze is listening, I'd also appreciate it if they would stop pushing social networking at us while we drive. I know you need to monetize your wonderful invention, but the last thing I want to do is network when I drive. Just saying.

Waze is a GPS-based geographical navigation application program for smartphones and tablets with GPS support and display screens which provides turn-by-turn information and user-submitted travel times and route details, downloading location-dependent information over mobile networks. Waze was developed in Israel by the startup company "Waze Mobile", funded by early-stage American venture capital firm Bluerun Ventures, and was acquired by Google in 2013.

Waze won the Best Overall Mobile App award at the 2013 Mobile World Congress, beating Dropbox, Flipboard and others. On June 11, 2013, Google completed the acquisition of Waze for a reported US$1.3 billion. As part of the deal signed, each of Waze's 100 employees will receive an average of about $1.2 million, which represents the largest payout to employees in the history of Israeli high tech.


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