Friday, November 02, 2012

Waze in Singapore

Drivers are typically trying to find means to make their driving experience more pleasant and one of the worst irritation is turning onto a seemingly clear road to end up being stuck in a massive traffic jam.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore attempts to address drivers frustration with systems like Expressway Monitoring Advisory System (EMAS) and Arterial Variable Message Signs (AVMS) since informing drivers to make detours earlier will also help prevent the traffic conditions from worsening.

However, even if EMAS, AVMS and even the interactive map at and radio broadcasts of traffic conditions, I have been finding it difficult to be updated promptly with road conditions so that I can make adjustments to my routes.

The newest tool in my arsenal to fight traffic woes is Waze. In the own words of the Waze team, "Waze is the world's fastest-growing community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute."

Waze is basically a smartphone app that is available on both iOS and Android platforms. This means that it has a potential user base that is huge. While LTA's current solutions put GPS trackers in some select vehicles to contribute to monitoring of traffic conditions, Waze is a low cost solution that can put a GPS in every vehicle occupied with at least one smartphone user. The sheer number of GPS tracking that can be added to the Waze ecosystem means that the information it gathers then becomes extremely accurate.

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