Israeli mobile satellite navigation start-up Waze has signed a deal with ABC’s local channel in Los Angeles that will help motorists avoid traffic congestion.
Waze founder Uri Levine said his company doubled its customer base in the past six months to nearly five million and that membership is growing by 500,000 new users per month.
“We are on a verge of reaching critical mass on many markets,” Levine said. “In the end we want to be the Facebook of drivers.”
The 2009-founded Waze is different from other GPS systems. It uses satellite signals from members’ smartphones to generate maps and traffic data, which it then shares with other users.
While other GPS providers help drivers find the way to sites they do not know, Waze aims to save drivers time on their usual routes.
Waze tracks where drivers are and if there are more drivers than expected in a certain stretch of road, the Waze map will turn red.
Waze also allows drivers to build maps together, create private groups to share tips, and even play interactive social games.
The app is free, in keeping with its 2006 roots as an open-source project. The service is available all over the world.