Waze, a mobile application that offers user-generated driving and traffic advice, is launching what it says is the first free, voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation system. The Israel-based company also introduced availability on Windows Mobile and Symbian, adding to its previously existing availabilityon the iPhone and smart phones using the Android system (sorry, Blackberry users, looks like we’ll have to stick with BBMing friends ahead of us in the commute to find out about traffic: Waze is still only in the early stages of developing an application for Blackberry).
The company is launching its voice-guided system, as well as its Windows Mobile and Symbian applications, at DEMOfall 09, the technology conference co-produced by VentureBeat. In addition to providing simple route advice, the application collects information from fellow drivers to create real-time driving help. Waze gauges traffic by recording and sharing drivers’ speeds via GPS points as they drive. It also allows users to take a more active role — a sort of drivers Wikipedia — by reporting inaccuracies other possible problems ahead: Who wouldn’t want the heads-up about a speed trap on the 280?
The introduction of new platforms could mean more users and, therefore, more accurate and helpful traffic advice. As with any crowdsourced device, a large number of users are needed in order to make the application useful.
Waze was introduced in the United States in May of this year, and became available for iPhone users in August.