LA and Waze agree to share traffic data

Tools

Los Angeles will join a select group of cities that will exchange traffic data with traffic app maker Waze, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday.

Users of the Google-owned smartphone app will receive alerts on typical traffic problems like road closures and street repairs as well as unique Tinseltown issues like movie shoot-related delays.

In addition, the Los Angeles Police Department will be able to send notifications about hit-and-run accidents and Amber Alerts under the agreement. LAPD leaders met with Waze representatives earlier this week to iron out concerns about officer safety under the data-sharing partnership.

Waze will share real-time information about traffic patterns and road conditions with the city, which Mayor Garcetti said will help it manage its roads better.

"This is exactly what our open data initiative is all about – going beyond information sharing to provide opportunities for our data to transform into tools to make people's lives safer and easier in very tangible ways," Garcetti said during the announcement of the partnership at the Los Angeles traffic control room.

Globally, 30 cities have struck similar arrangements with Waze to exchange data, including Boston and Washington, D.C. Los Angeles was an attractive new partner because the city is has the largest number of Waze users in the United States, according to a company spokesperson. About 1.3 million drivers in the metropolitan area use the app.

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