VIRGINIA BEACH — Residents are now able to participate in a data-sharing partnership the city has with Waze, the everyday driving platform that brings drivers together to outsmart traffic.
The Connected Citizens Program is designed as a free, two-way data share of publicly available traffic information that seeks to promote greater efficiency, deeper insights and safer roads for the city, according to a news release from the city.
The Waze Connected Citizens Program gives municipal leaders a look at real-time road activity, helping partners to harness real-time driver insights to improve congestion and make better informed planning decisions.
Established as a two-way data share, Waze provides partners with real-time, anonymous, Waze-generated incident and slow-down information directly from the source: drivers themselves, officials said.
In exchange, the city provides real-time government-reported construction, crash and road closure data to Waze to return one of the most succinct, thorough overviews of current road conditions today.
The city’s Office of Emergency Management spearheaded the effort with assistance from the department of information technology and the city attorney’s office.
“We have been looking forward to this partnership with Waze for quite some time,” said Erin Sutton, director of the office of emergency management. “Having access to real-time conditions and information will be invaluable in helping to manage traffic for large special events, holiday weekends and any type of incident.”
How Waze Works
The Waze map evolves with every driver and data point it receives, promoting safer roads and sharing more knowledge with “Wazers” about potential delays to their commutes, officials said.
The Connected Citizens program yields even more data, giving local residents a greater ability to circumvent road closures and traffic jams within the app.
During emergency situations, Waze also provides the option to search for nearby shelters and open gas stations, as well as utilize an SOS button to call on other “Wazers” for roadside assistance.
The city can also provide “Wazers” with advanced notice of flooded roadways during inclement weather and situation awareness during major traffic events such as marathons, festivals, parades and holiday weekends that will affect their daily routes.
To find out more about Connected Citizens, click here.
To download the free Waze app for iOS or Android, click here.