Waze Is Getting a New-Gen Feature to Warn Drivers of Flooded Roads

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Waze can already warn drivers of floods along their routes, but this feature is powered by the crowdsourcing engine responsible for all the other notifications within the app.
In other words, whenever you receive a flood alert, it’s all thanks to another driver on the road who sent a report and flagged the location on the map.

But Waze is now working on making the whole thing work in a more straightforward manner with a partnership between the Google-owned company, RISE organization, and FloodMapp.

Their developers have worked together on an advanced implementation that would allow flood warnings to be offered to Waze users without the need for a prior report.

FloodMapp has developed a forecasting system that analyzes tidal, riverine, and rainfall data to estimate in real-time where exactly a flood inundation can happen. Thanks to the partnership, all the processed data is automatically projected on the road network and then sent to Waze for generating alerts to nearby drivers.

The navigation app can then display visual and audio notifications to warn of the floods, with Waze specifically expecting a response from all users to help refine the flood forecast model. In other words, drivers on the road should confirm the flood if it’s indeed happening, as this is a way for the developing team to determine that everything is working properly.

If a flood is indeed confirmed, Waze can also perform a re-route, therefore trying to keep drivers away from locations that could be considered dangerous.

The new feature will originally launch in Norfolk, Virginia, but of course, if everything is working as expected, it could make its way to more regions rather sooner than later.

In the meantime, if you use Waze and come across a hazard on the road, sending a report about it is pretty much the easiest way to let others know about it. Waze already supports a wide array of hazards, including not only floods, but also accidents, vehicles stopped on the road, and roadkills.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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