Thousands of Orlando motorists are using a social network to share live traffic alerts through a smart phone app called “WAZE.”
Developers in California say the name is just a play on the word “ways”, as in, “there are many ways to get there.”
An estimated 90,000 Orlando drivers or “WAZERS” report what they see as they drive to their respective destinations .
With a simple click of an icon drivers can update everything from : construction, police presence, traffic jams, even red light cameras.
WAZE Communications Officer, Michal-Habdank-Kolaczkowski, says the WAZE Craze has 24 million subscribers around the world.
In Florida, Habdank-Kolaczkowski says Orlando has the most users followed by Miami with 60,000 and another 40,000 in Tampa.
"We're thrilled to see the act of sharing road information quickly becoming a cultural norm," said Habdank-Kolaczkowski. “We all have to share the road, shouldn't we also share in the responsibility of keep those roads moving?"
27-year-old Michael Wagner of Altamonte Springs started using the WAZE app in June 2010 and hasn't stopped since. Wagner, a graphic designer, says he uses the system everyday.
“It’s helped out a lot with delays, police reports, accidents all of that has helped out especially on I-4,” Wagner said.
Wagner says you can actually interface with Face book and Twitter to file traffic reports and let the social networks know where you are.
We rode with him on I-4 West Tuesday night . When we stopped at a red light the WAZE started providing traffic updates including police presence and a vehicle on the shoulder on I-4 West.
The closer you get to the hazard the system lets you know by actually counting down the distance.
Some drivers even reported heavy rain near Disney World and Celebration.
It’s the reporting and sharing by drivers that makes WAZE unique.
The company says it is constantly “working on new features to help drivers” including toll road updates and gas prices.
A spokesperson says to expect more great updates in the coming months.
You can download the APP directly from your phone at no charge. Just go to waze.com or m.waze.com.