TECH TUESDAY: Waze through traffic


by TYLER SIESWERDA / KVUE News and photojournalist DATHAN HULL

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 30 at 1:49 PM

AUSTIN -- Traffic is certainly one of Austin’s bigger problems. Getting around the gridlock is a daily challenge for Central Texas road warriors. 

What if all the other drivers could actually help you get where you are going faster? It's possible.

KVUE has partnered with a new app that may be your ticket to the fast lane. It is called WAZE.

Andrew Prather is one of those warriors. Prather spends about 40 minutes every day just getting to work. 

"I love WAZE. It offers me real time insight into what's really going on, on the road," said Prather.

WAZE is a mapping application giving you turn by turn directions but it goes way beyond that. 

"As WAZE is giving you directions to your location, you're also passively and anonymously sending us back your road speeds. Most of the work is done actually just by drivers passively," said WAZE Director of Communications Michal Habdank-Kolaczkowski. 

The GPS in your phone sends a signal back to WAZE. If you're going 25 in a 65 mph zone WAZE assumes there is traffic. You even help with details.  

"People are reporting it as they're seeing it. So if it starts to back up people are reporting that. If it's clearing up they'll know that. I've seen them actually post pictures if there's some sort of issue. It's awesome," said Prather.

Safety is of course a huge issue when you're behind the wheel but WAZE has addressed that with a simple wave of the hand in front of the phone speaker. 

WAZE is voice activated so your hands stay on the wheel.

"We take distracted driving more seriously than anybody because we are an app that's meant for drivers," said Habdank.

There are 35 million drivers using WAZE around the world and the more that join the better the information gets. 

WAZE also uses crowdsourcing to correct map errors, share pictures, and even search and update gas prices.

WAZE is a free app. Once you download it and join be sure to become a member of the KVUE Traffic Trooperz group. 

For more information about Waze, click here.


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