Friday, May 06, 2016

Mens Journal magazine just did a good article on Waze, the mapping app that is designed to show you the easiest way to your destination while driving, and the reported speed traps

Sshortcuts are more than a source of pride to cabdrivers: they're trade secrets, gleaned from years behind the wheel. As onetime taxi hack and former New York City Department of  Transportation commissioner Sam Schwartz — the man who invented the term gridlock — boasted, "By the time I was in my twenties, I knew a thousand different shortcuts and work-arounds for every street in New York's five boroughs."

But the advantage held by those grizzled street warriors is quickly dying, killed off by a mass of users — 50 million, at the last publicly released count — who provide invaluable data points simply by driving, and flagging speed traps and mark traffic jams.

 It's Waze, the Google-owned crowdsourcing navigation app that uses the real-time speeds of its users to determine the best driving routes. For all the hypothetical chatter about the world-changing import of self-driving cars, arguably nothing has had a bigger impact on what's actually happening on the roads than this simple app.

This is where the power of the masses is incontrovertible. Waze flags a jam when the free-flow speed for Wazers, as its users are known and whose GPS is being pinged once a second, drops below a certain percentage (based on seven years of historical data).

1 comment:

  1. I use Waze a lot on my phone. It works best on interstates where there are other users that can flag the broken down cars and police locations. The app uses a lot of power, so you have to keep the phone plugged in.