• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Carmageddon: New social mobile app to help beat traffic

July 15, 2011 1:54:12 PM PDT
Are you ready for Carmageddon? On the weekend of July 16-17, Interstate 405 will shut down for 53 hours between the 10 Freeway and the 101 Freeway due to construction.

Freeway ramps will begin closing at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 15, with lanes shutting down at midnight on the 16th. The 405 won't reopen until 6 a.m. on Monday, July 18.

ABC7 Eyewitness News has teamed up with Waze - a new, unique, real-time, traffic application - to help you get around the traffic.

Download Waze to your smartphone at http://m.waze.com/download

Waze is a social mobile application providing free turn-by-turn, voice-activated GPS navigation based on the live conditions of the road, while harvesting the traffic information that you're providing. The more people that use the app, the better the information.

It blends real-time traffic information with the urgency of a social network.

"Because the people input it, we know what's going on on the road, we know about road closures, we know about exits not working, we know about signals not working, things that we can actually effect and improve people's driving," said Michal Roman Habdank, a spokesman for Waze.com.

As problems pop up, Wazers file reports. Then Waze is able to suggest alternate routes, based on the information provided by its users.

"What we can do that's different is show you stuff on arterial roads and show you what's going on on Sepulveda and what's going on on Pico or Olympic, and places that you're not going to see otherwise," said Roman Habdank.

As a Wazer, you can decide whether you want to keep your profile anonymous or provide your name and even photographs. On the Waze interface, your icon is visible to other drivers, but the company makes sure that your exact route is impossible to track.

As for safety, Waze does not allow drivers to enter text while the car is in motion. However, if you have someone else in the car to take pictures and report problems, you can set it to passenger-mode.

In Los Angeles, the company says more than 180,000 drivers are using Waze. And the company is working with local transportation experts to better prepare for the upcoming 405 shutdown.

You can download the free app on a number of different smartphones, including iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia and Windows Mobile.

Get live traffic maps at abc7.com/traffic

Beat Carmageddon with ABC7

The I-405 is closing down the weekend of July 16-17, and ABC7 Eyewitness News is your home for the latest traffic news and information. Follow @abc7 and @BeatCarmageddon on Twitter, and use the hash tag #abc7traffic.


Load Comments