Beyond Google maps, an app Waze to navigate Indian roads
Waze, the Israeli app that Google acquired in 2013, will help drivers, delivery and taxi companies and emergency vehicles to navigate better and quicker through India’s congested roads.
The California company is showcasing ride-share in the US, but in India it will focus on three main programmes.
The Connected Citizens Program for municipalities is to use data to reduce congestion, and increase response time for ambulance-like emergency vehicles, through communication of realtime traffic information and road issues. The Event Partner Program is to help stadiums and other managers of large event such as marathons to help them reduce “event-related traffic”.
The Transport software development kit (SDK) program is for companies in the e-commerce, delivery and logistics space, which has been a long-drawn problem. “SDK provides better routes for its drivers, helping (companies) serve more customers, as well as improving delivery speed,” said said Amir Mirzaee, head of APAC business development at Waze.
Though Waze will compete with Google Maps and other navigation platforms such as Make-MyTrip, which also offers navigation solutions to e-commerce, transport and logistics companies, the realtime update to appusers gives it an edge.
If you are on the same route as another Waze user who is stuck in traffic, Waze will tell you to take an alternate route. “Waze also has more than 420,000 active, volunteer map editors who update maps and verify local edits to ensure accuracy,” Mirzaee said.
In the US, Waze has integrated its services into Uber-rival Lyft’s app to reach to passengers faster. In India it has had initial talks with Ola. “We look forward to a variety of India-based companies joining these programs in the future,” said Mirzaee.
It is piloting ride-share around Google’s headquarters in California, which it plans to extend to San Francisco, home turf of Uber. But the company has no plans to enable ride-sharing in India yet.
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