Latest News Israel

The Waze of the Future

Share |
Monday, March 12th, 2012

Imagine never having to sit in a traffic jam again. And that’s without having to listen to the local radio station to get annoying traffic updates. A free mobile app from Israeli startup Waze is changing the way people drive.

Approximately 50,000 users daily are flocking to this user-friendly app. Only a year ago, there were 2 million registered Waze users, today this number has soared to 10 million. Waze anticipates further rapid growth in 2012.

Australians are only just beginning to benefit from this technology, which was originally rolled out in Israel in 2009. Already over 20% of Israeli drivers (1.5 million) use Waze to rave reviews, whether it’s to avoid police traps or traffic snarls. The user-generated data from the GPS on driver’s smartphones charts traffic flows and suggests the best route to your destination.

Adoption in Australia is still in its early stages, with an estimated 40,000 users.  Waze’s marketing communications director, Alli Magidsohn, notes that the growth in Australia has been completely self generated.  “The thing that’s amazing about users in Australia is that the growth was 100% organic. We never did an official launch or any promotion there, and had no base map to start out with.  People simply heard about the app on their own … and most impressively, the community over there built the map entirely from scratch using the ‘pave a new road’ functionality.”

“The organic growth in Australia is wonderful, but not unique. In many countries where we had no official launch, communities have popped up and developed, completely of their own volition, which is really exciting to watch,” she adds. Waze has developed base maps for North America and some Western European countries, but elsewhere efforts have been led by local drivers.

Waze is easy to use, although it still has a few quirks in Australia. Drivers can see where there are traffic delays, accidents, police cameras and road works. Users can report events on the road to offer real time information to fellow commuters.  Waze offers some cute options for interacting with other drivers, particularly fellow commuters travelling to the same destination. You can compare alternate routes and never have to wonder whether it would have been quicker to take the bridge or the tunnel again.

The desire to map all of Israel’s traffic cameras was the original impetus behind Waze’s invention. Longer term the company plans to utilise location-based advertising, but keep the service free for individual users.

Waze is one of over 70 Israeli companies attending the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of the month. The MWC Congress is a chance for an anticipated 60,000 visitors to observe the latest trends throughout the communication sector. There are so many Israeli companies in this sector that Israel is one of 23 countries with their own pavillion.

Almost 50% of Israeli start-ups are working in this exciting sector, including InforUMobile, Goome Interactive, Orca, and BoomeRing Communication. Not just start-ups have benefited from Israeli expertise in this increasingly important area. Over half of the 120 international R&D centers operating in Israel develop communication technologies, including multinationals such as Cisco, IBM, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, Google and Yahoo. Most recently, Apple announced that they too would be opening a R&D center in Israel, its first ever outside of the US.

For Full Press Release CLICK HERE