Waze Will Be Avoiding Left Turns: Is It A Right Move?

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Waze, the ever-reliable crowdsourcing traffic and navigation-based app that helps drivers get from?Point A to Point B in the shortest possible time, has recently announced its new feature for Los Angeles drivers: Difficult Intersections.

According to the blog site of Waze, this new routing feature, which is now being test-run in Los Angeles, ?bypasses difficult intersections when possible, to promote a safer, less stressful drive.?

According to CNET: ?Waze will effectively seek routes that doesn’t include a left turn, and when it finds one it will calculate to see whether it will cost more time. If not, you’re off to right-turn lane.?

How will this affect your driving and your travel time?

Waze, which was acquired by Google in 2013, explained it in its blog:

?The feature is designed to balance an efficient ETA with limiting as many of these difficult intersections as possible. By default, Waze will calculate the best possible route that bypasses a difficult intersection. That being said, when the bypassing route is significantly longer, a driver may still be routed through a difficult intersection. The goal of the feature is to reduce the amount of these intersections, not completely eliminate them.?

Difficult Intersections has been designed to promote the safety of both the motorists and pedestrians.

CNET noted that ?Not only are poorly-managed left turns responsible for about half a million crashes and hundreds of deaths per year, but they’re also inefficient. UPS, the brown-truck delivery company, famously banned left turns for its drivers in 2004, and since then it’s avoided unnecessarily burning more than 10 million gallons of gas, cut down on pollution and probably saved lives (and a few fenders too.)?

Of course, this doesn?t mean that you should be avoiding taking left turns altogether. Drivers can easily turn this feature off if they prefer to take their own routes.

Waze in its blog posted: ?The Difficult Intersections setting is automatically enabled for LA drivers; however Wazers who prefer to drive through all intersections can easily disable the feature in Settings.?

This development was not conceived on a whim. Waze worked closely with the LA?s local map editor and long-time drivers.

?To identify which intersections cause Angelenos the most pain, we worked closely with the local map editor and employee community. They shared lists of what they perceived to be the most difficult intersections and provided alternate solutions. We also received a tremendous amount of support from our Connected Citizens Program partner, the City of Los Angeles, who helped us understand this hyperlocal challenge from a municipal perspective.?

Waze?s Difficult Intersections is only available in Los Angeles, California. Soon, New Orleans drivers will be enjoying this new feature. No word yet when the popular app will make it available globally. But it?s already encouraging Waze users to report difficult intersections under Report > Map Issue.

For more updates, check out TheBitBag.


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