Earlier this summer, Google plunked down a princely sum estimated to be more than $1 billion to buy Waze, a traffic and accident-reporting app that helps commuters spread word of slowdowns and blockages to other users. Today, that investment is starting to bear fruit, as Waze traffic reports have now begun to be integrated into the Google Maps apps for iOS and Android.
A post on AllThingsD offers up details on the new Waze integration. Apparently users will be able to hit the “traffic tab” and get access to whatever reports Waze users have posted, helping to give a more accurate view of traffic in the area. In addition, the support has gone the other way, as the Waze app now supports Google Search functionality. Synergy!
Google Maps vice president Brian McClendon offered up a statement about the ways the two services will be working together moving forward, saying, “We are cross-pollinating as much as possible. We’re learning a lot both ways; it’s a very strong meeting of the minds.”
It’s great that Google’s going to have a more up-to-the-minute method of reporting traffic information to its users. Obviously, the more data a user has at his or her disposal, the more informed a decision can be. That said, a lot of users rely on Google Maps’ turn-by-turn navigation, so hopefully the app will find a way to start integrating the Waze traffic reports into its directions.
For instance, whenever you take a turn that deviates from the naviator’s instructions, it reroutes you, usually back to what it had originally planned for you. Sometimes it’ll give you a whole new set of directions, but only if going back to the old route is out of the question. With the integration of Waze, it’d be great if the navigator could reroute you on the fly, reacting to road closures or major traffic jams before you get caught in them. I’d be surprised if this wasn’t already in the cards eventually, so keep an eye out for that.
What are some other kinds of additions you’d like to see Waze bring to Google Maps?