Waze adds features ahead of return to normal traffic
In the Philippines, community quarantine restrictions are being further eased and more businesses are reopening. While traffic may not be at regular levels yet, Waze wants to be ready to assist drivers when they eventually get back on the road. Waze’s new features will anticipate and respond to users’ specific needs, enabling them to go on safer, less stressful trips.
“As community quarantine eases up in the metro and beyond, Waze continuously supports local businesses through these features to drive customers to them safely. With Waze rolling out new features to identify locations with drive-through and curbside pickups, it will let users know where they can access products and essentials with minimal contact,” Waze Communities Global Group Manager Hila Roth told Digital Life Asia.
Keeping drivers safe
“The Location Personalities can also help businesses be identified easily whether they offer alternative pick-up options, while drivers can conveniently search, filter, and navigate to these locations and remain compliant with social distancing guidelines,” she added.
Waze has also been collaborating with the government and private sector throughout this COVID-19 crisis.
“Waze is continuously working closely with its Crisis Response team, its volunteer Map Editors, and governments around the globe to keep drivers safe globally in the wake of the pandemic. As part of its response and recovery efforts, Waze has a dedicated COVID-19 landing page where local governments can upload and share useful information related to road closures, medical testing centers, and more to give up-to-date insights for users.
“To date, Waze has successfully pinned more than 59 reference laboratories in the Philippines to inform users of nearby COVID-19 testing center locations so suspected individuals with the virus could head to the appropriate medical center and receive treatment. Emergency food distribution center locations and app reminders with local restriction have also been rolled out to help improve Waze maps for users and help them safely get to where they’re going,” Roth said.
Planning trips with ease
Before hitting the road, Wazers will be able to know what to expect and adjust plans accordingly. This is made possible as Waze will connect drivers’ needs and preferences with useful information shared by the Waze community.
- Feature #1: Trip Suggestions
Trip suggestions provide a visual overview of everything a driver needs to know minutes or hours before leaving, such as the time the trip will take and the traffic along the way. Based on trips taken in the past or recently driven to, Waze will also show personalized recommendations for drivers. This new feature will help drivers anticipate what is happening on the roads, adjust plans when there is still time to make changes, and, where possible, get a little time back.
- Feature #2: Recent Locations
Recent Locations show drivers the destinations they recently drove to. They are conveniently displayed “front and center” when drivers open the Waze app. With just one tap, drivers can start navigating.
- Feature #3: Live Map Save to App
Millions of Waze users viewing their upcoming journey each month on the Live Map using its real-time data will now be able to save their itinerary directly to their Waze app on their Android or iOS device with a single click. This provides a more seamless experience across platforms, and simplifies the process of planning a drive by finding the best route and time to leave, before even getting into the car.
Relying on Waze
Drivers can take advantage of Waze’s real-time hyperlocal expertise to inform how they drive, navigate, and experience the roads.
- Feature #1: Quick Search
Location badges now appear under the search bar to help surface locations offering drive-through or curbside pickup even faster. In addition to finding the nearest gas station or parking lot along your route, drivers can now search other locations that reinforce social distancing, too, to help support local businesses.
- Feature #2: Lane Guidance
Lane Guidance tells drivers which lane to be in, when merging or exiting a stretch of freeway or highway. Fewer mistakes means less stress, and safer driving — plus, the added bonus of drivers keeping their original arrival time.
- Feature #3: ETA Improvements
With more people working from home, Waze has had to keep up with drivers’ ever-changing routines, while also supporting essential workers who have been dedicated to keeping essential locations open and functioning. ETA calculations in areas where there are fewer drivers have been improved, which has been especially important in 2020 as it has been harder than ever to predict the changing flow of traffic patterns.
- Feature #4: Batman Theme
For some added fun, drivers can activate the Batman experience on Waze and choose the side of DC superhero or supervillain by selecting the iconic voice of Batman (Kevin Conroy) or The Riddler (Wally Wingert) to guide them on their own adventures. This feature is available globally in English, Spanish, and Portuguese until Oct. 31.
All new features are now available on the Waze app.