Waze Shares New Updates to Support Drivers amid Pandemic
Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar091, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current News
By EDD K. USMAN
(SDN) — DISRUPTION has been the order of the day, everywhere across the globe since December 31, 2019.
That’s the period when China reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) about a then-mysterious pneumonia-like illness that was afflicting people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
Three months later WHO declared a global pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus, most specifically SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Back to today, Covid-19 has given rise globally to more than 8.37 million confirmed cases, 449,530 fatalities. More than 4.09 million people sick with the coronavirus have recovered. The figures are from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) as of June 18.
Covid-19’s impact disrupted and continued to make a mess or people’s lives every where in the 188 countries, regions and territories battling the virus.
Disruption, yes, daily routine, business, government operations, travel, among others.
For Waze, everyone’s community-based traffic and navigation app, helping its drivers is a big deal, obviously, travel safe and come home safe after hours on the road transporting people from home to office, office to home, home to malls, etc.
By helping its drivers navigate safely in these trying time of the pandemic, Waze is helping its customers get to their destination. Whichever they are traveling to.
Here’s what Waze is doing these days:
As the community quarantine eases up in the metro and beyond, Waze, the community-driven navigation platform, is working closely with its Crisis Response team and its volunteer Map Editors to keep drivers safe globally in the wake of the pandemic. In the Philippines, Waze reveals the latest updates with these new in-app features:
1. New Notification
For the past few months, the “Luzon quarantine” notification appeared every 24 hours on the app to remind Luzon-based users of the ongoing Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). Since various areas have now relaxed the regulations to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), a “Drive only if necessary” notification will now appear on the app to remind users to “Stay safe and healthy. Follow local travel guidance and only drive if you must.”
2. Drive-Throughs and Curbside Pickups
Users can now locate the nearest store offering drive-thru and/or curbside pickups on the app. To support restaurants and other businesses, Waze began identifying places that allow drive-throughs and/or curbside pickups so that Wazers will know where they can safely get their essential items while avoiding as much contact as possible.
3. Covid-19 Donation Centers
As more Filipinos have been helping each other in the midst of the pandemic, Waze contributes by plotting donation centers on the map. Waze now allows users to search for the nearest donation drop off center by typing “Donation center drop-off” in the destination search bar. Wazers can also choose among the other drop-off centers found in the search results.
4. Updated Reference Laboratories
In April, Waze added Covid-19 Reference Laboratories to its map. Waze has successfully pinned 59 reference laboratories as of date and will continue to add more as they are made available by the Department of Health (DOH).
5. Covid-19 Landing Page
As part of Waze response and recovery efforts, Waze is making their Covid-19 Impact Dashboard available externally so that governments, academics and the interested public can gain more insight into local driving trends. On this page, governments around the world can also contribute data on both medical testing center and emergency food distribution center locations to help improve Waze maps for users.
Waze continues to help Filipinos whether on or off the road. Drivers are highly encouraged to take precautions, follow local guidelines, and report real-time accidents, hazards, blocked roads, weather conditions and more that will help fellow Wazers safely reach their destinations.
For more information about Waze and its community and partners’ Covid-19 relief efforts, please visit the Waze blog or view the landing page here. (SDN/Waze)