Waze adds global level crossing alert feature to keep road users safe
The new feature, which alerts drivers when approaching level crossings, aims to highlight the potential risks of crossings and keep users safe.
Waze – the platform bringing together communities on and off the road – has announced a new feature that will provide alerts to road users approaching level crossings.
The new feature will automatically alert drivers using the latest version of Waze on Android or iOS that they are approaching a level crossing. A banner will appear on the Waze app highlighting the crossing and encouraging the driver to approach with caution.
Waze users are beginning to make a significant return to the road following the COVID-19 outbreak. The new feature is unique to the platform, putting drivers’ safety first and helping them return to the roads by highlighting the potential risks associated with driving over level crossings.
The decision to add level crossing alerts to the Waze map follows recommendations from both the U.S. senate and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to app-based navigation platforms like Waze that doing so can help contribute to the efforts to reduce the number of drivers involved in level crossing fatalities. The U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) also championed this feature and provided valuable insights as Waze used their publicly available database of U.S. level crossings.
The feature was advocated for by major rail network operators and other organisations, including MTA Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak, SEPTA, Brightline, Operation Lifesaver Canada, the Railway Association of Canada, CN, SNCF, the Regulatory Agency of Rail Transport of Mexico (ARTF) and the Secretary of Communications and Transportation of Mexico.
These organisations have provided the vital data (verified by the Waze volunteer community of map editors) to add level crossings to the Waze map in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and France, and local Waze map editors have taken the initiative to incorporate crossings to the map in the UK, Italy, Israel, Brazil, Colombia, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Netherlands and Ireland.
Head of Public Sector Partnerships at Waze, Dani Simons, said: “The railroad crossing feature is a result of a cross-industry, cross-sector collaboration, both internally within Waze and the community, working together to help fellow drivers map out all highway-railroad intersections. This feature exemplifies Waze’s commitment to building for its driving app, being the first to implement features and emphasises our focus on safety.”