Four months ago, Waze Ltd. marked the worst day in its history, when the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv was closed because of a storm, which caused the Ayalon wadi to flood. Even though the highway was closed for a long time, the popular navigation app continued to direct drivers to it.
Waze subsequently did its homework, and the results were seen last night. Waze added a feature which allows drivers to report blocked roads, enabling the app to direct drivers to alternative routes. Yesterday, it worked.
Waze did not take chances, and updated in advance about the closing of the Ayalon Highway, working together with Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), which carried out work along the highway, requiring its closure.
While Waze's navigation app did the job for drivers, it is hard to say the same for Google's. Although the app has existed for a long time, it was only launched in Israel in March.
In contrast to Waze, Google's app does not rely on drivers' reports, but on Android devices operating in Israel as broadcasters of information on traffic flow. In yesterday's test, the system did not really work. For example, a driver trying to go from Holon to Herzliya at 11:30 pm was directed to the Ayalon Highway, even though it had already been closed for over an hour.
Bottom line, it seems that Waze has learned its lesson, but Google still needs to do its homework.
Meanwhile Intel's Telmap, like Waze, was able to update its M8 navigation app ahead of time that the Ayalon highway would be closed last night and advised drivers on alternative routes.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 21, 2013
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