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Google Buys Waze for an Undisclosed Amount

It seems Waze has finally found a suitor. The company, which has previously been rumored to be in discussions with both Apple and Facebook, has announced that it had been acquired by Google. The two companies shared the news via their respective blogs, with Google highlighting the acquisition as a way to fight traffic.

Google describes Waze as "a fast-growing community of traffic-obsessed drivers." Indeed, with close to 50 million users, the Waze community isn't short on users. The service uses satellite signals from users' smartphones to generate maps and traffic data, offering community-edited maps, traffic jams, road hazards, accidents and even speed traps – all supplied by other drivers in real time. The free service also helps users find the cheapest, closest gas stations near their current location whether it's at home or out-of-town. Now all of that real-time data goodness belongs to Google.

According to Google, the Waze team will remain in Israel and operate separately for the time being. Google didn't really offer any other details on what the acquisition will mean for Google Maps. Last we heard, Waze would remain a standalone application but the app's most valuable data could be integrated with Google Maps.

Google also kept quiet about how much it paid for Waze, though rumors earlier this week indicated that the company was offering over a billion dollars. We'll keep you posted on that one.

  • sgadadish
    1.03 Billion but dont let the facts all over the net comfuse u
    Reply
  • house70
    " The service uses satellite signals from users' smartphones ..."

    I didn't know my smartphone was broadcasting satellite signals..
    Reply
  • Dupontrocks11
    Google better have not spent 1B+ on Waze, because its not worth that.
    Reply
  • teh_chem
    I used waze once or twice. I live in a traffic-heavy area and I drive to/from work, but I never found it all that useful. Plus the app eats battery life. Eats it like there's no tomorrow.
    Reply
  • bombebomb
    If you live in a high traffic area, that means you live in a very dense population area I would think, you should have other wazers around you.
    Reply
  • WithoutWeakness
    I really hope this functionality gets added to Google Maps. I've never used Waze but the features sound awesome for phone-based GPS and navigation. Google Maps are already very accurate and adding the data-sharing features from Waze would provide better traffic data, more accurate travel times, and a whole host of added benefits for Google Maps.
    Reply
  • xcamas
    I've been using this app since last year. Im living in a country which I dont know much. This app helped me reach places without having to spend a cent on data network. I just choose the destiny before I leave home, using my wifi and then it downloads everything related to that location. The voice and NFS-like OCR is just amazing.

    This is the best offline GPS app I've ever used. And that is something Maps does not have.
    Reply