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Thursday, 4 May 2017

(The Star) Malaysia has the most Wazers

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has the highest number of Waze users in Asia and is among the top five worldwide.

Waze Global Strategic Partner­ships manager Mona Weng said the growth of the app in Malaysia was seen in the past couple of years.

“I think there is a big traffic issue and Waze is the way to get around it,” she said, adding that the growth in the number of users could also have coincided with the smartphone penetration in the country.

Waze, said Weng, was now seeking Government partners under its ongoing Connected Citizens programme to share publicly available data so that motorists spend less time on the road.

This can include road closures for planned events or construction as well as those due to emergencies or weather.

Currently, Waze is working with the Selangor government to allow motorists to file complaints on potholes, which are then channelled to the various local councils for action.

“We are starting small. It’s not like the most impactful thing but I think the key is starting somewhere,” said Weng.

In Malaysia, most Waze users are concentrated in big cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Baru.

Kuala Lumpur has 2.5 million active Waze users while Jakarta has two million and Manila has 1.5 million.

Currently, Waze has about 80 million active users globally, and Weng expects this number to reach 100 million in the near future.

Waze has over 250 partners worldwide, including city, state and government agencies, and hopes to secure another 10 in Asia in the next couple of months.

Waze, she said, also hoped to do a test in Malaysia like the one it carried out in Jakarta, which saw cars being diverted to different routes during peak hours according to their licence number plates.

She said this had resulted in traffic being diverted across the city and a 19% decrease in driving time.