In April I was caught in a massive traffic jam caused by a car jacker who fled the car and was shot by police. It was a literal “parking lot.” I was able to to obey local traffic laws by turning off my engine, step out of the car and use my iPhone and Windows Phone to look at various traffic apps. Inexplicably every service (Bing, Google, Inrix) showed all roads as green even though everyone had been stuck for a half-hour or more up to this point. Traffic was backed up in both directions for miles. To compound things the local radio stations did not provide any significant coverage of the situation on a timely basis. The one app I neglected to check with Waze. Waze uses INRIX’s traffic data. However, the add a social crowd-sourcing aspect to get near-time traffic information from the actual people driving (or riding as a passenger).
Waze is teaming with KABC (the ABC news stations in Los Angeles) to provide crowdsourced information in areas where road sensors are not deployed. This is preparation for the July 15th weekend closing of a 10 mile segment of the 405 freeway which is being referred to as “carmageddon.”
Traffic App Waze, ABC Team Up to Fight ‘Carmageddon’ in L.A. (Wall Street Journal)
The Wall Street Journal notes that the TV station may make arrangements with volunteers to provide hyperlocal information about traffic conditions using Waze.