The City of Ottawa plans to start sharing its traffic data with Google’s Waze traffic app, in order to providing better, real-time traffic updates for local commuters.
This move is part of a new data-sharing partnership with the Waze Connected Citizens Program, joining other cities like Toronto, Montreal, New York and San Francisco, who have all benefitted from similar initiatives.
Waze is a crowd-sourcing, GPS navigation app where users can submit anonymously where they encountered high-traffic congestion, slower-than-usual traffic speed, collisions, stalled vehicles and closures.
The combination of the city’s traffic information and user submissions is expected to provide more comprehensive and up-to-date information, such as road and lane closures, collisions, construction and detours.
The app provides users with route options, latest road and traffic reports, and an option where motorists can get turn-by-turn vocal directions to their destination.
"Many residents need road and traffic information to get around in their busy work and family lives," said Councillor Stephen Blais, Chair of the Transportation Committee. "Whether they need to pick their children up from daycare or take them to the rink for a practice or a game, taking the best route is key to making their schedule. This data-sharing partnership with Waze puts City traffic information right in the palms of their hands -- enhancing the lives of parents and their kids."
This partnership is another initiative under the City of Ottawa’s Smart City plan -- using innovation, technology and leading practices to enhance the resident experience in acquiring information and services.
The city also wants to remind Waze users that the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and Waze’s terms of services forbid sending any updates while driving.