Crowd-sourced maps app Waze has signed up with the Belgian city of Ghent for the Waze Connected Citizens programme, which sees city transport authorities exchange traffic and incident data with the Google-owned navigation app.
Waze’s users can report accidents and traffic jams, which are then relayed to other drivers. The data are also shared with local governments to help with real-time traffic management, including emergency response dispatch, Financial Times reported.
In turn, the 55 cities in the scheme give Waze information about road closures and new traffic policies, Financial Times reported.
“If you were starting today with web-services know-how and data analytics, a traffic management centre could be built for a fraction of what they typically cost,” said Di-Ann Eisnor, Waze’s head of growth.
In many cities, municipal authorities and mobile apps already collaborate. Citymapper, an urban transport app that raised $40m in venture funding in January, got its start in London using the open data the city provides about tube, bus and train lines.
Besides providing transport advice to the general public, Citymapper offers transit authorities data management tools that help handle feedback and incident alerts from users.