What did we ever do before we had Google Maps to tell us where to drive at the last minute? Did people really look up their route on a map? I remember the days of looking up directions online and then printing them out to take them with me in the car, like reading them while I was driving was a good idea. Not only were they sometimes wrong, but they definitely didn't account for things like traffic and accidents, which most drivers now are used to knowing about before they leave for their destination. GPS navigation has improved tremendously and is featured in many main stream vehicles now for hands free driving safety precautions and convenience.
Apart from the addicting gaming aspect, Waze is actually good for something: gathering data.
However, a number of people still employ the use of apps that they prefer because of the live updates that are available. Waze is one of those handy apps that engages people with gameification and basically gives rewards for distracted driving, although technically there are regulations within the app that try to prevent this. I once dated a guy who's ultimate goal was to become Waze Royalty. He was a Waze Ninja and when he got knighted I distinctly remember being forced to look over at his phone while he swerved to show me. When I didn't show enough enthusiasm I was deemed "unsupportive." Things didn't work out.
Apart from the addicting gaming aspect, Waze is actually good for something: gathering data. And that's what's going to make the company's recent global partnerships a success that will have competitors like Uber struggling to keep up. The new development kit, called Waze Transport SDK, will allow developers to integrate their apps with Waze and collect data that is relevant to the services that they provide. For example, if a food delivery service utilizes this application, they will gather better transportation data, letting them provide their customers with a more accurate arrival time for their cuisine. The real-time traffic and location data is an improvement for other kinds of on-demand apps too, like ride share services and even parking applications.
The Google-owned company has announced partnerships with companies like Lyft, Cabify and JustPark, making it known that they are enabling the world of on-demand transportation to improve and increase quality with new data integration. Competition in this arena continues to grow as more smartphone enabled customers expect their services delivered from a touch of their fingertips. Running the Lyft app and Waze simultaneously will allow more data to be collected and automatically update the fastest route. This means Lyft drivers won't be updating manually or trying to find a faster route on another app other than the one they have enabled on their dashboard. If drivers can find a quicker way to get to customers, they can complete their routes more efficiently, give the rider a better experience and move on to the next transaction.
The less driver interaction with the navigation device also creates a safer work environment for the operator and passenger. While Uber is worrying about and monitoring speeding drivers, Lyft and the new Waze Transport SDK are making themselves more efficient. Other applications that use the new development platform will have customizable options that will tailor the data to their specific services. Expect to see more developers jump onboard in the next few weeks as this platform rolls out to other apps in this space. Look out Uber, Lyft is souping up their ride.