When you're in unfamiliar territory, a friendly face to show you the way is a godsend. Waze sets out to do just that by delivering directions and tips from fellow drivers all around you.
The app started out as a local project in Israel but is now a Google-owned entity that sold for more than $1 billion. Waze's strength lies in its numbers: the more users who contribute, the better the information Waze provides. At last count, the service had 50 million users.
While some drivers are not happy that Waze has turned their secret backstreets into traffic-clogged thoroughfares, Waze is one of the most helpful mapping apps around. And it has attracted the attention of local governments: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and other localities are working with Waze to study traffic patterns, reduce congestion, and provide real-time reports to drivers.
The app might soon be as popular with passengers as it is with drivers. Waze is testing out a car-pooling app called Waze Rider in Israel, which might make its way to other markets. Until then, here's what you need to know to put your familiarity with Waze in the fast lane.
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