Waze has added a new feature for winter driving that should offer peace of mind if you ever find yourself commuting through snow-filled streets.
The navigation app will now offer snow reports on the state of nearby roads throughout the colder months of the year. It means, for example, that you’ll be able to quickly see whether a road has been plowed, allowing for more efficient route planning.
Waze is a crowdsourced app, so the new feature means you’ll be able to add your own reports of unplowed roads should you come across them while you’re out and about, thereby providing valuable information for other drivers in the vicinity.
The new feature was built in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The department is part of the Waze for Cities Data program, which shares anonymized data from the app with various organizations to help them in their work. In this case, VDOT can use the real-time data to organize their snowplow trucks or send out emergency response teams to deal with traffic issues caused by wintry weather conditions.
“One of the primary reasons we created the Waze for Cities Data program was to provide public agencies with data and insights to reduce traffic and improve the safety of their roadways,” Waze’s Dani Simons said in a release. “Our work with VDOT on the development of the ‘unplowed road’ feature perfectly exemplifies what can be accomplished when we collaborate with public sector partners to meet community needs.”
The new feature is available now for Waze’s 130 million monthly users globally, and can be found under Hazards > Weather > Unplowed Road.
The snow hazard joins a bunch of other reportable issues that include everything from potholes and floods to missing signs and roadkill.
Waze is owned by Google, and many of the traffic app’s features have made their way over to Google Maps. So don’t be surprised to see this one appear at some point, though don’t expect it to land for this winter. In that case, you might want to take a look at Waze if you don’t already have it. Digital Trends has an excellent guide on how to use the app, which is available for both Android and iOS.
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