Waze, ABC team to help L.A. drivers navigate traffic nightmare
As Los Angeles braces for the July 16 weekend shutdown of I-405, a major highway that carries hundreds of thousands of vehicles every day, local ABC television affiliate KABC is teaming with crowdsourced navigation app provider Waze to keep drivers updated on traffic conditions and help ease congestion.
The Waze application generates real-time traffic updates collected from users' smartphones, identifying nearby trouble spots and suggesting alternate routes. KABC will leverage Waze data during the so-called "Carmageddon" to help L.A. drivers plan their route prior to leaving home, also supplying updates to their smartphones as traffic conditions change. Waze has about 180,000 users in the Los Angeles area and about 4.5 million total users across 45 international markets.
Waze and KABC declined to divulge the financial terms of the partnership, but Waze Vice President of Platform and Partnerships Di-Ann Eisnor told The New York Times that broadcasters are willing to pay for accurate traffic information, stating "There's a potential model down the road that could be big."
Late last year, Waze closed a $25 million Series B financing round led by Blue Run Ventures, bolstered by contributions from new and existing investors including Qualcomm Ventures, Magma Venture Partners and Vertex Venture Capital. At that time, Waze CEO Noam Bardin stated "We plan to take crowdsourcing further than it has ever gone before. We want media companies to engage users as citizen journalists."
- read this New York Times article