- Waze’s data-sharing program, Waze for Cities Data, is now available on the Google Cloud platform to make it more easily available for analysis.
- Using the data warehouse tool BigQuery and data visualization tool Data Studio, city partners will be able to analyze up to 1 TB of data and store up to 10 GB of data for free each month. With this program, partners can securely and privately store and analyze their own data and perform their own analytics. Waze ensured cities will remain in "complete control" of their data.
- Waze for Cities Data launched in 2014 with 10 city partners and has since seen its ranks swell to more than 1,000 globally.
Waze has been a useful tool for drivers inside and outside cities for many years, offering crowd-sourced information about traffic and other road conditions that could cause delays. But it has come under criticism from some city leaders. Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu suggested last year that the city take legal action against the company for routing traffic off major thoroughfares and onto smaller arterials, creating safety issues.
This announcement is part of a wider play by Waze to be a partner with cities and reduce traffic congestion. Last year, it made its carpooling feature available nationwide to encourage users to share riders rather than drive alone. And it partnered with GIS firm Esri to provide real-time road data to cities for free through its Connected Citizens Program, the former name for its Waze for Cities initiative.
The Google Cloud integration helps cities further analyze the scads of data they collect on road usage and should make it easier to access advanced tools that can give transportation leaders vital insights. With the advent of drones and other traffic management technology, cities can collect more data than ever before, and this partnership should help them be even better at understanding and using the information.