Getting stuck in traffic is always frustrating, even for the calmest of drivers. But what if there was a way of knowing about traffic queues in advance, perhaps live from the queue, as fellow motorists share the information with you, thus allowing you to plan a new route and avoid any congestion.

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Well, that fantasy is actually a reality, thanks to Waze, a crowd-sourced information exchange application that allows motorists to share live traffic information.

According to their own promotional material, “Waze is all about contributing to the ‘common good’ out there on the road”.

By connecting drivers to one another, they help people create local driving communities that work together to improve the quality of everyone’s daily driving. That might mean helping them avoid the frustration of sitting in traffic, cluing them in to a police trap or shaving five minutes off of their regular commute by showing them new routes they never even knew about.

So, how does it work?

After typing in your destination address, users just drive with the app open on their phone to passively contribute traffic and other road data, but they can also take a more active role by sharing road reports on accidents or any other hazards along the way, helping to give other users in the area a ‘heads-up’ about what’s to come.

In addition to the local communities of drivers using the app, Waze is also home to an active community of online map editors who ensure that the data in their areas is as up-to-date as possible.

You can download the app to your mobile device, just search for Waze in the app or play store. Remember though, when you are driving, you must not touch your device. Get your passenger to report problems, but at least you will be aware of what´s to come and have a totally free intelligent guidance system to help you to your destination safely and promptly.

This article first appeared in issue 2 of the N332 RoadWatch magazine…

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