TfL hopes to ease traffic with crowdsourced data

The organisation has teamed up with Waze to offer real-time information about traffic congestion

Waze and Transport for London (TfL) have joined forces to share traffic and navigation data, which, it is hoped, will help ease congestion, enable better planning decisions to be made and improve response times of emergency services in the UK's capital.

The initiative, called the Connected Citizens Programme, collates information from millions of people using the roads in London. Waze will offer TfL the opportunity to use this data in order to improve services and keep traffic moving, even if incidents cause disruption.

In exchange, TfL will inform Waze about any construction work happening, accidents or road closures, so the company can report the information to users of its app.

"Getting the latest traffic information direct to drivers when and where they want it is key to enabling them to avoid delays," Phil Young, head of online at TfL, said.

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"We have a wealth of open data available and by working with Waze and joining the global Connected Citizens programme, we can not only ensure London's road users have the information they need to plan their journeys, but we can also draw in more data to help us manage London's busy road network," he added

Waze is currently being used across the globe to help cities more accurately provide drivers with the latest information. For example, it's being used to reduce congestion in Boston, which in turn enables emergency services to speed up emergency response times in the city by four minutes.

"Harnessing the insights of more than 65 million monthly active users, its Map Editor communities, and varied, data-driven enterprise partnerships, Waze continues to share its unprecedented knowledge base of traffic and driver insights to improve urban mobility across the world," Paige Fitzgerald, head of new business development at Waze's data acquisition unit, said.

"It is critical that prospective partners show their dedication to citizen engagement and commit to use Waze data to improve city efficiency. Waze Partners are also expected to measure and share their findings with other municipal organisations, developing case studies that serve as keys to a global set of improvements which can be made for collective mobility," she added

TfL is Waze's first Connected Citizens Programme partner in the UK and its 100th global collaboration.

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