Waze is a mobile app that crowd sources traffic information as drivers navigate roads. If you see a cop, recent traffic accident or road obstruction, you can ping other drivers in our area so they know to slow down. More than 116,000 Sacramento drivers use the app monthly. Now, anonymous data from those drivers will be shared with the city and the city can push information to Waze to help inform drivers of road closures, construction and events.
Officials say this two-way data share will help ease congestion and improve public safety. Mayor Kevin Johnson says it also goes further to establishing the city’s position on the national tech scene.
“As Sacramento continues its emergence as a leader in innovation, entrepreneurship and technology, we have to be creative about how we continue to keep the city safe, friendly, and easy to get around” said Mayor Johnson in a press release. “New technology — be it to support public transportation or reduce traffic — is essential to getting the job done. This Waze partnership is an innovative effort to use our data as an asset to build a better Sacramento.”
Maria MacGunigal, IT Director, for the City of Sacramento says there aren’t a lot of tech project people get really excited about, this collaboration is one of the few.
“This waze collaboration is really a great symbol of the city’s moving forward in terms of being a more open and collaborative city,” says Maria. “This is a great opportunity for the city to take data, provide it to our community in a different format, for us to be able to get information from our community and to help our community in real and tangible ways.”
The city currently tracks traffic patterns through cameras, historical data and surveys. The data the city will get from Waze will help city officials respond to unexpected events using the real-time data.
All the data Waze collects is anonymous. Waze has partnered with many other cities through their Connected Citizen’s program.
“With the addition of Sacramento in the Waze Connected Citizens Program, Waze is empowering Sacramento-area drivers with real-time data on changing road conditions and closures directly from the city,” said Paige Fitzgerald, Waze Connected Citizens Program Manager in a press release. "Building on the success we‘ve had partnering with CalTrans and cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, Waze is excited to extend this data exchange to Sacramento to further optimize local driving experiences in northern California.”
The program will be implemented in the fall and MacGunigal says they will be using the data for all the traffic management activities including the opening of the new arena.