Waze rage is coming to a head on crowded streets

The backlash against the crowdsourced navigation leader is reaching critical mass. Brian Cooley investigates.

Brian Cooley Editor at Large
Brian Cooley is CNET's Editor at large and has been with the brand since 1995. He currently focuses on electrification of vehicles but also follows the big trends in smart home, digital healthcare, 5G, the future of food, and augmented & virtual realities. Cooley is a sought after presenter by brands and their agencies when they want to understand how consumers react to new technologies. He has been a regular featured speaker at CES, Cannes Lions, Advertising Week and The PHM HealthFront™. He was born and raised in Silicon Valley when Apple's campus was mostly apricots.
Expertise Automotive technology, smart home, digital health. Credentials
  • 5G Technician, ETA International
Brian Cooley
Watch this: Neighborhoods are fighting Waze, GPS apps from ruining streets

Waze is great. Unless you live on one of the formerly quiet streets the navigation app has turned into an expressway. 

Concerns about how Waze is doing that are not new, but recently the volume seems to have been turned up on this issue. Cities around the country are trying different approaches, and hearing different feedback from authorities on whether or not those approaches are kosher. 

There's bad, if understandable, behavior on both sides: Residents have resorted to reporting fake closures, potholes or accidents to Waze to get its logic to route around their street, while Wazers have clogged streets to the point of gridlock with little herd sensitivity to the problems they're causing.

Interestingly, in the midst of all this, Ford has waded right in as a carmaker that officially supports Waze in the dash via its Sync 3 AppLink technology, something you wouldn't expect from risk-averse carmakers.

If you're a Wazer, consider your impact on formerly peaceful streets as you drive them -- and if you're a resident, consider finding a place on a cul de sac next time you move.