Waze – Intelligence Just Got Redefined

If you are still hung up with Google maps, it’s time to try something new.

No doubt, navigational apps are a rarity, given that Google has a near-monopoly in the market; fun alternatives are always welcome. Such is one of the newest and most happening smart phone applications Waze. Developed by three Israeli software engineers and then later on acquired by Google (yet again), Waze reached the summit of popularity in the year 2012 when it was downloaded 12 million times worldwide.

What’s New with Waze

So, what’s the fun in that? Waze actually works as an artificially intelligent application that is community based. That is to say, it works on information gathered from the users and evolves accordingly. Users can easily update traffic jams, report accidents, pinpoint locations, specific house addresses and much more. Adding a social touch to boring GPS based navigation is what makes Waze stand out of the crowd. What more do you want from an app that, for example, can pinpoint cheapest refueling stations near your current location!

Intelligence comes into play when Waze simultaneously sends traffic and speed data of the driver to its database to improve utility. This is also an added advantage, especially when you need to regulate your own driving and avoid potential accidents. Not only this, many critics are of the view that Google acquired Waze because of its turn by turn voice-over navigation system, which will soon be incorporated in the driver-less cars. Sounds like an old school H.G. Wells novel, well, we guess the future is more like a dream than reality. This does involve potential risks of software hacking, like recently, a group of Israeli students did successfully hack into the application creating a fake traffic jamas a part of their University project! While this could have caused mayhem in Israel but since, the program designed by these students created the jam on a quiet back road, within the college campus, it was not a big deal.

How advanced is It?

But, this experiment does reveal the vulnerability of Waze’s to potential hack attacks. Nevertheless, it is a fun social-cum-navigation app that really pulls off many exciting features in small packages. This application also allows you to join in with other drivers in your region to help navigate much faster and in a simpler way. If we take a look at the privacy policy, many pros of Waze can turn into cons even before you blink. Traffic data, including your speed of driving can be easily accessed by the police on demand. Since Waze constantly tracks your location, it might be annoying if you feel like hitting the gas without worrying about a speeding ticket. Another issue related to updating information is that anyone can gather massive information about you including your license plate registration number, which may become a boon if anyone tries to stalk you. The users are hence advised to use common sense while updating information, for example, about traffic accidents or jams.

The Future

Nevertheless, given the stage where we are in, in terms of social networking and navigation, it is really hard to imagine our lives, without a companion, which can guide us through, in a fun and informative way. Especially, a tour to an unknown place can become easy and exciting if you have an app that knows it all. Try this, and many more to come, as who knows, the world isn’t a huge place after all!

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