How does Waze work?
The Waze navigation mechanism
The power of Waze is in your hands. By simply driving around with the Waze client installed on your smartphone, you can share real-time information that translates into traffic conditions and road structure. When you use Waze, you can also actively report to the community on traffic, accidents, police traps, blocked roads, weather conditions and much more. Waze collects this information and immediately analyzes it in order to provide other Wazers with the most optimal route to their destination, 24 hours a day.
The easiest way to improve Waze is just to drive around with Waze turned on. Even if you are not using Waze to guide you, turn it on. You don't have to do anything.
Waze uses the information from your journey to calculate average speed, check for errors, improve road layout and learn road and turn direction. There is no need to make special trips with Waze. In fact, Waze works best on your regular trips and commuting.
The maps and navigation are powered by users. The more people drive with Waze open, the better the navigation.
Who is Waze designed for?
Waze is powered and used by drivers all over the world. Drivers connect to one another and work together to improve each others driving experience. As a community-based traffic and navigation app, Waze was created as a social navigation tool for private cars. Because of that, we don't currently support navigating in lanes dedicated to public transportation, bicycles or trucks.
Because Waze focuses on drivers (and lacks sidewalks), you can use Waze as a pedestrian, but it's not the optimal solution.
How Waze learns your routes
In order for Waze to accurately give you the fastest or shortest route, depending on your settings, it needs to have accurate data for all neighboring segments and routes. Waze collects data for every road driven with the app open. Next time a specific road is driven, Waze will know to compare data between each possible route and will know better to suggest the optimal route based on your preferences.
We always work to improve the algorithm of the system so it will suggest the best route. However, we are aware that sometimes there are better routes than the one suggested by Waze. Routing issues like this happen because the system works on real time and average statistics. We suggest that you take the suggested route a few times so that Waze can collect and start to use the new data in its routing algorithms.
If, in your estimation, Waze doesn't give you the best route, it may be due to the following:
- A map error somewhere along your preferred route.
- A lack of correct speed/traffic data for that route.
- A lack or correct speed/traffic data on the route it is trying to send you on.
Waze was built assuming a data network connection would be present all, or at least most, of the time. For all aspects of Waze to operate, you must have an active data connection on your mobile device. This connection enriches Waze with real-time traffic related information and ensures an up-to-date map. Without an internet connection, you won't be able to locate or navigate a route.
If you have an intermittent connection, Waze will try to get data from the servers for traffic alerts and hazards, but may not be able to give you reliable information. Additionally, if Waze doesn't have a connection back to the Waze servers, you will not be able to post hazards. Waze does not cache reports or map issues to send later.