Traffic app Waze blends community reporting history with artificial intelligence to warn drivers if the road they’re on might be particularly dangerous.
The Google-owned navigation tool has launched alerts showing the crash history of roads, which will alert drivers if they are on a road that is particularly accident-prone. If your route takes you to one of these roads, the app will now send users a prompt saying “Accident History” before you reach an area where accidents are more likely to occur.
“It is estimated that accident injuries are the eighth leading cause of death globally – and Waze users around the world report an accident approximately every two seconds,” the company said in a blog post.
The idea is to alert drivers to areas where turns are tighter than expected, or drivers may enter the road from another street without adequate visibility. This would alert drivers to the possibility of slowing down or being careful to prevent an accident.
“If your route includes a road prone to collisions, we will show you an alert before you reach that part of your journey,” the company said. “To minimize distractions, we limit the number of alerts drivers see, and do not display them on the roads they regularly travel.”
The AI component of this feature is that the app will analyze your route and take things like traffic levels and road type into account before determining if an alert is warranted.
Crash log warnings are the latest feature Waze is offering to drivers. Other programs introduced include one that helps drivers avoid left turns and one to avoid speeding tickets. It was also the first to support carpool lanes.
Most recently, the company made headlines by temporarily disabling live traffic data in Israel “in consideration of the safety of local communities.”