Safaricom, Google launch traffic information solution
Safaricom has partnered with Google to launch a mobile application that offers motorists access accurate and real-time traffic information, based on crowd-sourced data from other road users.
The app, Waze, is a free GPS-based mobile application that has already been used in other countries as a traffic information tool. It collates information generated by other users on the same route, to share information on accidents, impassable sections of the road route, traffic jam, and advices on alternative routes.
“Mobile technology has evolved from being just a tool that enables interpersonal communication. With this partnership, we are furthering our mission to transform lives by enabling our customers get to their destinations faster, having offered them vital information to enable them plan their journeys better.” said Sylvia Mulinge, General Manager- Consumer Business at Safaricom.
She said, “The use technology enables us all generate some data, which when harnessed and processed provides us with useful information that aids in decision making that helps customers save time that would have otherwise been wasted on the roads.”
The partnership comes on the back of the announcement that Safaricom is planning to extend its 4G network to 15 major towns, and increase its 3G coverage countrywide. The partnership is also leveraged on the fact that there are more than 4.4 million 3G and 4G enabled devices used on the Safaricom network.
“Partnering with like-minded organizations adds more value to our ambition; to make people’s lives simpler. Traffic information on Waze, which is updated in real time, will save people the hassle of enormous amounts of time spent in traffic by offering alternative routes,” said, Charles Murito, Country Manager, Google Kenya.
He said, “Waze will be the ultimate driving companion as it will track your progress in traffic jams. Using a traffic bar, the application will calculate the amount of time spent in the jam and update your progress as you move along. At the same time you will also receive information generated by other motorists.”
Waze is available on the Android or iOS App Stores. Upon downloading and activating it, customers will only be required to enter details of their destination to access traffic information and passively contribute similar information for other road users.
Acquired by Google in 2013, Waze is already used by 4.4 million motorists in 200 countries.