Waze’s Latest Update Helps Drivers Pick Up Family and Friends

By Devon Glenn 

Waze has released version 3.5 of its social driving app. This new version helps drivers find their friends, share their route, and send an estimated time of arrival.

Waze shows things like traffic and road conditions, as well as the locations and prices of nearby gas stations. Drivers can use the hands-free mode to report traffic conditions in real-time, which helps other drivers on the road who are also using the app. The social feature catches hyperlocal information that other GPS-enabled apps may miss, like parking restrictions, potholes, and road debris.

In the new version of the app, Waze connects to Facebook to help with carpools and other meetups among friends. It also includes instant messaging for people to keep in touch along the way.

The app hit 20 million users in July 2012 and has since reached 30 million users. Waze is one of several contributors to Apple’s map application for the iOS 6. However, the app is ranked highly on iTunes, with an average of 4.5 stars for all versions from more than 75,000 reviewers.

Based in San Francisco, the company has raised a total of $67 million, most recently a $30 million funding round from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Li Ka-shing in 2011.