Waze users were victims of a strange bug this summer. The application seemed to send them to the wrong road, deviating completely from the correct route.
This problem appeared following the strict traffic measures in Israel, put in place to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
If Waze is one of the most popular GPS applications among drivers, it’s probably because of its highly developed algorithm that can calculate the best route in real time.
It detects irregularities on the road, such as accidents and traffic jams, and finds a solution in no time. All this, not to mention the frequent updates that regularly add new features.
However, as convenient as it is, this algorithm can cause major problems. This summer, Israeli users had a bad experience with it.
They explained that the application systematically redirected them to a city miles away from their initial destination, not hesitating to say that it “went crazy”.
COVID-19 HAS COMPLETELY MESSED UP WAZE
“We have a problem with the algorithm. The more people we serve, the more it is affected” admits Guy Berkowitz, CEO of Waze. He explains that the reason is to be found on the side of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The coronavirus has put us in a situation where we have to reinvent our algorithm because of the recent large increases in traffic” he says.
That’s why the bug only affected Israel. Since the beginning of the health crisis, the country has put in place very strict traffic measures.
“The history of the road – which is part of our algorithm – no longer reflects reality” Guy Berkowitz continues.
“Think of a road whose history shows that there are no traffic jams, and today it is full. So the coronavirus killed our history and the algorithms have to change and give much more weight to what’s happening in real time – and that’s not always true, because the path we show you is not necessarily the short or fast path, but the Waze path”
Although the coronavirus has had a profound impact on French road traffic, there is little risk of the problem landing in our part of the world.