Waze’s community-based warnings for hazards, speed traps, and traffic can make your daily commute a lot easier, and this winter, the app is introducing a new feature. Starting today, Waze users can see “Snow Warnings” for unplowed roads, real-time snow conditions, and more.

Built in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Transportation (DOT), this new Snow Warning feature should be handy for Waze users who live in areas susceptible to harsh winter weather. The feature allows users to report any unplowed roads they see, as well as ice in the road and conditions they see while driving.

In theory, this should make commutes in the winter months a whole lot easier for everyone. Personally, I think the addition of being able to report ice on the roadway is a huge win for users, since black ice is a serious hazard that can cause a lot of accidents.

Waze says that the feature is already live in the more than 185 countries where the app operates. Users can report ice or unplowed roads under Hazards > Weather on both its Android and iOS apps.

In Virginia, the DOT plans to use the information reported on Waze this Winter to help better plan for the 2020-2021 season.

[9to5 press release]

Waze Launches Snow Warning Feature Ahead of Winter Season

Ability to Report Unplowed Roads Now Available Thanks to Partnership With The Virginia Department of Transportation

RICHMOND, VA — DECEMBER 10, 2019 — Waze, the platform bringing together communities on and off the road, today announced the launch a new feature to help keep drivers safe during winter weather. Waze users globally will now be able to report, in real-time, when a road has not been plowed, and will be kept informed when they are approaching a road that has already been identified by other drivers as unplowed.

The launch of this feature is a direct result of Waze’s work with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), a Waze for Cities Data partner. With the winter season approaching, VDOT suggested that Waze create the option to better highlight snow on the road within the app. The feature will offer the Waze community of over 130 million monthly users the opportunity to be better prepared for hazardous winter weather conditions.

“One of the primary reasons we created the Waze for Cities Data program was to provide public agencies with data and insights to reduce traffic and improve the safety of their roadways,” said Dani Simons, Head of Public Sector Partnerships at Waze. “Our work with the Virginia Department of Transportation on the development of the ‘Unplowed Road’ feature perfectly exemplifies what can be accomplished when we collaborate with public sector partners to meet community needs.”

As a Waze for Cities Data partner, VDOT plans to monitor reports coming in from Wazers, and those who are simply shoveling their driveways and sidewalks, this winter and determine how they can incorporate this data into their operations for the following winter.

“At VDOT, our people are constantly exploring innovations and new technologies with the ultimate goal of providing the best service to the residents of the Commonwealth and all those who travel our roads,” said VDOT Chief Deputy Commissioner Rob Cary. “Many use crowdsourcing in their daily lives. We wanted to explore this method of information gathering to help improve safety and better assess the conditions of our roads during winter weather. We value our partnership with Waze, and look forward to monitoring the real-time reports on road conditions and determining how best to incorporate the data into our future operations.”

The new feature is now available in over 185 countries where Waze is accessible, and can be found under “Hazards -> Weather -> Unplowed Road.” The feature highlights Waze’s commitment to helping its community across the globe navigate traffic through all driving conditions more efficiently and safely.

Waze for Cities Data is part of the Waze for Cities program, where partners can also access Waze Beacons, Waze Carpool, and solutions for managing communications with drivers and traffic during crisis situations and other major events like marathons, football championships and large concerts.

To find out more about Waze for Cities, visit http://waze.com/wazeforcities. To download the free Waze app for iOS or Android, visit http://www.waze.com/get.


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Ben Schoon

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