Waze, formerly FreeMap Israel, is a subsidiary company of Google that provides satellite navigation software on smartphones and other computers that support the Global Positioning System (GPS). In addition to turn-by-turn navigation, it incorporates user-submitted travel times and route details while downloading location-dependent information over a cellular network. Waze describes its application as a community-driven initiative that is free to download and use.
The software was originally developed in Israel by Waze Mobile, a company founded by Israeli entrepreneurs Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar, and Uri Levine. Funding for the initial project was provided by two Israeli venture capital firms, Magma and Vertex Ventures Israel, as well as by an early-stage American venture capital firm, Bluerun Ventures. In June 2013, Waze Mobile was acquired by Google for US$1.3 billion. The application generates revenue through hyperlocal advertising to an estimated 130 million users.
Waze collects map data, travel times, and traffic information from users and transmits it to the Waze server, at no cost to Waze. Waze users (“Wazers”) can report accidents, traffic jams, speed and police traps, and, from the online map editor, can update roads, landmarks, house numbers, etc. Waze sends anonymous information, including users’ speed and location, back to its database to improve the service as a whole.
Based on the information collected, Waze is then in a position to provide routing and real-time traffic updates. Waze can also identify the cheapest fuel station near a user or along their route, provided Waze has enabled fuel prices for that country. The fuel prices are reported and updated by users and/or other third parties in proximity to a station. This feature currently only supports gasoline and diesel pricing.
Waze offers turn-by-turn voice navigation, real-time traffic, and other location-specific alerts. Waze encourages users to report traffic or road hazards through incentives such as acquiring points for their profiles.
According to en.wikipedia.org; sixt.com. Source of photos: internet