Unsurprisingly, based on the latest data by Waze, most countries around the world have dramatically stopped driving due to respective restricted movement measures employed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Globally, Waze users are driving 60 per cent fewer kilometres compared to the February daily average for a two-week period (11 Feb – 25 Feb 2020). With the Movement Control Order in effect, Malaysian Waze users are also driving significantly less–a staggering 80 per cent fewer kilometres compared to the same February daily average. The MCO has been extended until 28 April 2020.
Despite the overall decrease of drivers on the road, essential journeys still need to be made on a daily basis, such as for purchasing daily necessities and groceries, seeking medical care, or to perform official duties for those categorised under “essential services.”
As such, Waze has activated its community and network of partners across its Volunteer Communities, Waze for cities programmes, and more, to support crisis response. Waze Map Editors and Waze Crisis Response teams are currently working with 58 countries (and growing) to add region-specific relief efforts. This includes adding road closures, red zones, and more, to the map. Waze’s maps are maintained by a community of more than 30,000 monthly active map editors.
That aside, the leading mapping and navigation company has also launched a COVID-19 landing page urging governments around the world to contribute data on medical testing and emergency food distribution centre locations to help users. Once the data is received, Waze will validate and add the details to the map, and subsequently inform drivers via the app.
With more people relying on takeaway, delivery and drive-thru services, Waze has rolled out new Location Personalities and search features to help provide users with minimal contact access to Waze’s partners. Businesses can use unique badges to clearly show that they offer alternative pick-up options. This is to ensure people remain compliant with social distancing guidelines while being able to safely pick up food and other essentials.
Waze says that for businesses who need to update their information can do so in a few simple steps, or contact the support team for help.