Traffic navigation app Waze will be updating its maps to help the public navigate safely through the ongoing coronavirus lockdowns caused by the coronavirus. According to a report by Engadget, people aren't driving as much as before because of standing stay-at-home orders implemented in various areas meant to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
However, the developers of the Google-owned navigation application believe that having access to information that can identify the location of closed routes will help those who really need to venture out of their homes for essential travel is important.
To address the situation, the team turned to its network of partners in Waze for Cities programs and Volunteer Communities, to develop the essential update containing COVID-19-related information that will show the locations to be avoided.
The app's crisis response team has been working with the Waze community to make sure that its maps are updated with the information that will show the location of closed roads, red-zoned areas, and other data that would be essential to the people on the road.
The app also teamed up with different organizations and companies including No Kid Hungry and WhyHunger to add more than 30,000 emergency food distribution locations to its updated US map. Waze also invited government agencies to assist with its update and to also help them disseminate information to the public about medical testing, food distribution locations, and road closures.
Waze updates its map with coronavirus related information: Will this help in navigating through the pandemic?
According to the Engadget report, as soon as the coronavirus outbreak started spreading across the globe, Waze quickly activated its network and community partners across their Waze For Cities and Volunteer Communities programs to help with their crisis response team. The update will help people better understand the COVID-19 traffic and congestion trends within their location.
The data gathered by Waze shows that globally, their users are driving 60% fewer miles compared to the February daily average covering a two-week period. The update also shows the date on a country-level which can help the team identify how traffic patterns have changed in markets where the coronavirus first appeared.
The data shows that Italy, one of the countries severely affected by the pandemic, is experiencing a 90% decrease in miles driven by an individual per day.
Although the overall percentage of the miles driven by the individuals has dropped significantly, it can still be seen that there are still people who are going outside. These journeys are hopefully essential to the battle againast the novel coronavirus or essential to sustain their day-to-day life.