Malaysians are among the top Waze users in the worldPOSTED BY Yamin Vong ON 19 November 2018
Since the introduction of navigational app Waze in Malaysia, the country has become among the biggest Waze community in the world on a per capita basis with 5.9 million monthly active users and 300 map editors.
It’s popularity is an indication of the many highways and alternative routes these offer to drivers and motorcyclists.
When we get in the car to drive to my mom’s house across town, I’ll be working my smartphone. My wife will ask “Why are you opening Waze? You don’t know the way to your mother’s house?”.
I must stoically tell her that opening the Waze will contribute data to the app and improve the predictive accuracy of the app in real-time for the benefit of all the Waze users.
Not that I don’t know the way but there are three routes to my mom’s house and there have been many times when Waze has advised a quicker alternative route based on its analysis of real-time data.
Yes, by simply driving around with the Waze app open on your smartphone, you share real-time information that translates into information on traffic conditions.
For long drives, Waze will inform of danger zones marked by speed traps going by the logic that the authorities install speed traps at crash prone areas. So the warning “speed trap ahead” is a road safety advice for the driver to observe the speed limit.
During peak traffic periods or festive seasons, the KL-bound stretch of the Karak Highway is notorious for hour-long tailback from the Gombak Toll. In this scenario, Waze will advice the alternative old Gombak road.
Similarly, the Malacca to KL stretch of the PLUS highway is chock-a-block from 4pm onwards. To plan your journey, you can go to the “Go Later” setting and Waze will suggest the best time to leave.
Every time a specific road is driven with the app open, Waze will compare data between each possible route and the artificial intelligence immediately suggests a variety of routes and an optimal route.
Another tip on using Waze to save your immediate location is to tap on “Reports” if you choose to send the report later when it’s safe.
For those who feel trapped by a jam and repeatedly report a “standstill”, Waze advises that it’s not necessary. The system will take reports of other drivers too.
You can also send information about pot holes and road works and this data is used to update fellow Waze users as well as help authorities to improve roads and traffic in key areas.
Four of Malaysia’s top Waze map editors, all volunteers, recently were rewarded with an all-expense paid study trip to Waze’s Betalization Meet Up from 12-15 October in Berlin, Germany.
One of the pioneers of Waze users in Malaysia, Yusmizan Ag Kirah, is a Level 6 Country Manager for the 300 Waze map editors in Malaysia and Brunei.
Level 6 is one of the top titles that Waze editors can earn.
Yusmizan started using Waze in 2013 because it not only simplified navigation, it was also fun. His day job is teaching Automotive Technology, at Yayasan Sabah’s Technical College in Kota Kinabalu, the state capital.
Despite having a family of four to care for, Yusmizan volunteers his time volunteers his time together with his community of Waze map editors to constantly update, edit, fix and manage the maps.
While the easy way to help Waze (and help yourself also) is merely to power-up Waze when you are on the road, you can contribute far more by becoming a map editor. Go to https://www.waze.com/editor and learn to start editing in our Community Wiki and contact editors in the forums.