In response to the COVID-19 outbreak around the globe, Waze has activated its network and community of partners across its Volunteer Communities, Waze for Cities programs, and more to support the crisis response.

A one-month view of the change in percentage of drives recorded on the road in the Philippines | Source: Waze Data, 2020
Drastic drop in drivers on the road in Manila
Drastic drop in drivers on the road in Manila | Source: Waze Data, 2020

Globally, Waze users are driving 60% fewer kilometers when compared to the daily average in February. Here in the Philippines, it’s 88% fewer kilometers versus the daily average for February.

The fact is essential journeys will still have to be made, either for buying essentials such as food, water, and medicine. This is why Waze believes that its data can help users plan their trips more efficiently. Waze Map Editors and Crisis Response team are collaborating with 58 countries (and counting) to add region-specific data including road closures, red zones, and more to the map.

As for the Philippines, Waze has added COVID-19 Reference Laboratories in Metro Manila, Baguio, Cebu, and Davao to its maps. This means users will be able to locate the nearest medical testing center by typing “COVID” or “covid” in the destination search bar.

To encourage its users to take precautions and follow local guidelines, a “Luzon Quarantine” notification will also appear on screen every 24 hours to remind users of the on-going ECQ.

Waze has also launched a COVID-19 Landing Page asking governments to contribute data on medical testing centers and emergency food distribution center locations to improve its maps for users.

Lastly, the company has also rolled out support for drive-throughs and curbside pickup to help provide users with minimal contact access to Waze’s partner products, such as food and other essentials while still remaining compliant with social distancing guidelines with new location Location Personalities badges and search features. Businesses who need to update their information may do so in a few simple steps or contact Waze’s support team for help.

For more information, you may visit the Waze blog or click here.

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.