With most South Africans, and others across the globe adhering to national lockdowns, self isolation or social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are fewer people on the road.
That does not mean, however, that applications like Google Maps and Waze are not helpful at this time. It is the reason why Waze has been working to update its navigation app with useful COVID-19-related information.
The firm explained what it has been working on in a Medium blog post, outlining some of the features that Waze users can expect to see on the app in coming days and weeks.
“Our aggregated, anonymized data can help cities and citizens better understand COVID-19 traffic and congestion trends in their area,” explains the company.
“Our maps are maintained by a global community of more than 30,000 monthly active Map Editors. This passionate community came together in February with our Waze Crisis Response team and are currently supporting 58 countries (and counting) with region-specific relief efforts,” it adds.
In terms of the features headed to the app, Waze notes that maps are being updated with information like road closures, no-go areas and infection hotspots, so those driving know where they can and cannot venture during the lockdown and pandemic.
Added to this is a notification for locations selling food and other essential items, along with whether they facilitate drive-thru or pick-up options. This should come in handy, as more restaurants are turning to selling frozen and ready meals, along with the likes of Woolworths offering a drive-thru service.
The firm has also urged governments to visit its COVID-19 landing page, where information with regard to essential services being offered in different cities and towns, can be added.