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THE EDGE POST

How Waze Started?


Waze is powered and used by drivers all over the world.


Drivers connect to one another and work together to improve each other's driving experience.


As a community-based traffic and navigation app, Waze was created as a social navigation tool for private cars.


The Founders

Waze was founded in 2007 by Israeli trio Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar, and Uri Levine.


The idea was indeed a bit unusual at the time as it was a navigation app that uses the power of the crowd.


Waze was basically a free navigation app that was made to fight traffic.


How Waze Was Created?

In 2006, Ehud Shabtai founded a community project FreeMap Israel, which aimed to create, with the crowdsourcing assistance of community users, a free digital database of the map of Israel in Hebrew.


The next year, Shabtai formed a company called Waze to commercialize the project.


The app was updated in 2011 to display real-time, community-curated points of interest, including local events such as street fairs and protests.


In December 2011, Waze employed 80 people, including 70 at Ra'anana, Israel and 10 in Palo Alto, California


It also offers TV news stations a web interface to broadcast current traffic reports and alerts directly from the Waze app; the service has been used by 25 U.S. TV news stations by June 2013


The Name Waze

Before Waze was called Waze, it was called FreeMap Israel.


However, in 2008, the team expanded to include LinQmap with Uri Levine and Amir Shinar and officially changed its name to Waze.


Why Waze? Because it was a play on the word ‘ways’, as in the variety of ways one can take to get to any given location.


Waze’s Mission.

The company’s mission is to beat traffic together. Waze gets more valuable when more people use it.


More users on the platform improve the quality of the data, predictions, and route directions. This data is also interesting for other parties, such as local governments.


Waze for cities is a value proposition that enables cities to manage their traffic and make better decisions related to infrastructure improvements.


This is how better driving ultimately leads to smarter, and more sustainable cities.


The Success Of Waze.

Surprisingly, when Waze was launched, not many believed that it would succeed. However, in September 2012, Apple Maps was released but it had a lot of backlashes as it was full of bugs and generally is of very unusually low quality


Apple CEO, Tim Cook, apologized publicly. Moreover, in a letter, he recommended iPhone users temporarily use other navigation apps. One of the apps he mentioned was Waze.


This caused Waze to have downloads increased by 40% following Cook’s statement.


In an interview, they said that they had no idea that Tim Cook would mention their application. Since then, every September Waze workers have been celebrating “Tim Cook Day”.


After its ongoing success, In 2013, Google announced that it is buying Waze for a billion.


Waze is an important part of Google’s activity to this day, with over 130 million active users all over the world.



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