The popular navigation app Waze is rolling out a new feature to boost driver safety by highlighting accident-prone roads. Using AI and historical data, it will warn users about hazardous routes. When navigating, the Waze map will now indicate dangerous roads or intersections in yellow. This visual alert clues drivers to take extra care in areas with higher crash rates.
The feature is launching first in Los Angeles, with a nationwide US expansion planned for 2023. It taps into Waze’s trove of crowdsourced driving data. By analyzing accident reports submitted by users over time, Waze can identify problem roads that see an abnormally high rate of crashes. Machine learning models help detect patterns in the data.
Drivers are understandably more likely to have accidents along certain risky routes, whether due to sharp turns, blind spots, steep hills or other hazards. With its new alert system, Waze aims to make people more cautious when approaching yellow-flagged crash hotspots. The warnings appear on the map regardless of if the route is actively chosen.
Users in LA will also get audio alerts when nearing a hazardous road section. This serves as an additional warning to reduce speed and be alert. Beyond visual map flags, Waze also plans to soon reroute users to avoid known dangerous roads entirely if safer options exist.
Waze’s parent company Google says the new safety features build on its AI work to improve mobility for everyone. They hope to prevent accidents and save lives. The alerts are rolling out first to Waze’s 110 million monthly active users on iOS, with an Android launch planned soon after. Drivers globally can eventually expect enhanced warnings powered by Waze’s community-sourced data.