Two companies in crowdsourced navigation and incident analysis are joining forces in order to better serve drivers around the nation as well as state and local government agencies that keep traffic moving.
On April 26, the startup Waycare, creator of a cloud-based platform that uses artificial intelligence to predict congestion and accidents — essentially, providing tools for real-time traffic management —announced a data-sharing partnership with Waze, the Google-owned company behind the app uniting what’s believed to be the largest online community of motorists in the world.
The relationship is already underway, Waycare Chief Executive Officer Noam Maital told Government Technology, allowing his firm to intake Waze information to its platform. Also ongoing is Waycare’s push of verified incident information back out to ‘Wazers,’ or Waze users, warning drivers about accidents, hazards and unknown roadway conditions around the corner.
The two-way exchange, or “symbiotic relationship,” as Maital termed it, is now on display in Nevada, where agencies including the Nevada Highway Patrol, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and the Nevada Department of Transportation are partnering in Waycare’s first U.S. pilot.
“Not only now are we receiving information from Waze and using it as one of our input [data] for all the features that we provide, but it’s also being shared back to Waze drivers, people using the navigation services in southern Nevada,” Maital said. The relationship empowers a better understanding of incidents reported by Waze users — and affirms a deeper knowledge of traffic conditions on both ends.
Waycare has also started a pilot with Tampa, Fla., the CEO said, and is in the implementation phase with the Walnut Creek Police Department in California, and with the Delaware Department of Transportation.
In a statement, Waze Global Partnerships Manager Adam Fried said the company is “excited to partner with Waycare to empower even more municipalities with powerful data insights.”
“Cities everywhere are undergoing a massive transportation revolution, and Waze is thrilled to be at the forefront of this movement with our Connected Citizen Program,” Fried said.
The two Israeli companies had collaborated on CCP, Maital explained, but Waze “really looked to take it to the next level in terms of cities using that data to enable decision-making.”
Aggregated CCP data shared anonymously will enter the Waycare system “in near-real time,” Maital said, meshing with data from public agencies and their sensors to paint a clearer picture through machine learning of what’s happening on the road.
“The city constantly looks for ways to influence and communicate outwards to the drivers and until today really the common method had been dynamic message signs or traffic lights which tell us if it’s red or green,” Maital said. “This … I think, is really how the future is going to look like when you have connected and, later, autonomous cars [and] the city communicating directly with the drivers through the applications and later on with the onboard units."
Waycare will likely expand to other markets in Florida, California and Delaware, he said.