The Google-owned navigation app Waze is partnering with Amazon Music along with several new product features, as the company announced its first major default program, Waze On. Between these changes, Waze receives personalized recommendations based on the user’s journey history, along with traffic information, ETA improvements, lane suggestions, expanded Google Assistant integration, and more.
Waze’s travel suggestions are one of the more notable new features, as it takes advantage of the user’s historical driving patterns to see where users can go next. The feature, which will start next month, will depend on the visits the user has made in the past, as well as the sites they connect to, Waze says. The suggestions will give the driver a visual overview of their trip, including details such as travel time and expected traffic.
Another new feature, Traffic Notifications, will alert users when traffic starts building or the driver is late to both preferred destinations and often, in addition to their planned one-off drives. Wedge indicated that these will also arrive next month.
Smarter improvements include a new addition called lane steering. As the name suggests, Waze will now be able to tell drivers which lane they will be in when they merge or exit a section of the highway. This facility is still running.
Waze has also refreshed its ETA account in regions with fewer drivers – a reflection of the pandemic’s impact on driving patterns. With fewer cars in some areas on the road due to companies operating remotely, Waze says it’s hard to predict the changing flow of traffic. The update should take into account the traffic reduction when calculating in some areas.
In a much-needed update, users will now be able to save their itinerary for a planned drive to the Vaz app directly from the web-based live map feature.
Waze has also extended Google Assistant integration for French, Spanish, and Portuguese speaking Waze users.
Wedge Carpool has also received some updates. It now offers instant booking and automatically approved facilities for drivers and passengers. Drivers may also receive ride requests in real-time as they start driving, allowing them to choose more riders along the way.
Meanwhile, Amazon Music has joined the Waze Audio Player Partner Program, which allows Waze users to listen to third-party services from Waze’s audio player. Amazon Music users will also be able to access the Waze app through the Music app. The audio program itself is not new. Waze is already working with other music and audio partners including Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, YouTube Music, Deezer, TIDAL, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, NPR One, Scribd, and more.
At the event, Wedge said it now sees more than 140 million monthly users worldwide, contributing to society by driving more than 36 billion kilometers and reporting more than 70 million accidents in 185 countries.