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Waze Is Getting More Ads, But It's a Feature That Makes Sense for Everybody

Google-owned Waze has recently updated the app with warnings that are displayed when users drive towards a rail crossing, but a new partnership is pushing this feature even further.
Railroad crossing alert on Waze 1 photo
More specifically, Waze and Norfolk Southern Railway, a Class 1 freight railroad in the United States, will begin showing ads whose purpose isn’t to promote a specific product or service, but to warn of a rail crossing in the region.

The ads will use more catchy phrases than the text used in Waze’s warnings, such as “Tracks nearby. Be smart. Be safe,” or “Your safety starts with you. Cross carefully.” They will only be displayed when the cars are not in motion, so theoretically, they aren’t supposed to generate any kind of distraction.

These messages are intended to urge people to think about how they behave around train tracks and to make the right decision to keep themselves and anyone in the vehicle safe,” Norfolk Southern Public Safety Director Will Miller said.

Worth knowing, however, is that the ads will begin rolling out over the next several months and will only be displayed in certain locations across the United States. In other words, if you live in Europe and use Waze for navigation, you shouldn’t see any such ads on your device.

Drivers in the following regions should get the new Waze ads: Huntsville and Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Macon and Duluth, Georgia; Dunlap and Fort Wayne, Indiana; Gastonia and Greensboro, North Carolina; Harrisburg and Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Memphis and Chattanooga, Tennessee; Manassas and Suffolk, Virginia; Summerville and Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Sandusky and North Olmstead, Ohio.

The bad part is that there’s no way to block the ads from showing up if you’re not a big fan of such messages showing up occasionally on your Waze screen. But with statistics showing that an accident between a person or a vehicle and a train is happening in the U.S. every three minutes, this kind of update is more than welcome.

press release

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