The Waze traffic and navigation app is an excellent tool for helping drivers find the best routes and avoid congestion, and now, the benefits are also extending to local governments. The City of Louisville partnered with Waze in 2015 – gaining access to an immense volume of real-time traffic data.
The partnership delivered immediate benefit by enabling the city to share up-to-date information on road closures with citizens through Waze and other popular navigation apps, helping to minimize the impact of downtown construction projects.
Since then, Louisville has been exploring additional use cases for the Waze data. The real-time data feeds provide greatly improved insight into congestion and other mobility issues, which makes it possible to perform unprecedented historical analysis.
Historical analysis means that the city’s traffic team can quickly and cost-effectively assess the impact of congestion mitigation initiatives. For instance, the city tested a new traffic signal timing plan designed to ease traffic in the busy Westport road corridor. With the new plan in place, it took just five minutes to retrieve the data from Waze, plug it into analytics software, and see the impact of the change. Traditionally, Louisville would have had to bring in a traffic consultant to measure effect of the new signal timing plan, which would have cost thousands of dollars.
Other use cases for the Waze data include identifying faulty traffic equipment, and collision prediction. Moving forwards, Louisville is targeting even deeper analysis into traffic data for problem areas, as well as system-wide analysis to determine which roads would benefit most from congestion mitigation projects.
Louisville has open-sourced much of its work with the Waze data, making it easy for other cities to sign up for the Waze Connected Citizens Program and achieve similar results.