Both Google and Waze have confirmed that Google has acquired the renowned community-powered social navigation app Waze. The deal amount has not been officially confirmed, but it is expected to be around $1.1 Billion as per previous rumors.
Brian McClendon, Google’s VP for Geo added:
We’ve all been there: stuck in traffic, frustrated that you chose the wrong route on the drive to work. But imagine if you could see real-time traffic updates from friends and fellow travelers ahead of you, calling out “fender bender…totally stuck in the left lane!” and showing faster routes that others are taking. To help you outsmart traffic, today we’re excited to announce we’ve closed the acquisition of Waze. This fast-growing community of traffic-obsessed drivers is working together to find the best routes from home to work, every day.
Brian also noted that the Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now. Google says that it will be using the traffic update features of Waze in its Maps application to make it better and will also capitalize on Waze data to improve search.
Waze is a navigation application which uses the crowd-sourced data from its users for traffic delays and other traffic related incidents to alert its other users for possible traffic slowdowns and to suggest better alternative routes to their destination. It is currently available on iOS and Android.
Google is a key player inmapping application with Google Maps also been a chief source for its mobile advertising. Under threat from other rising mapping applications from Apple, Microsoft and Nokia, Google needs to prop up its efforts. With over 40 million Waze users and data it brings, Google expects to maintain its lead in Maps. We certainly expect Google Navigation to come out of Beta soon now that it owns one of the best navigation apps around.
There were earlier rumors of Facebook also trying to acquire Waze, but the news of Google acquiring it made more sense as Facebook does not have any mapping application to bring more strength to Waze. Google can use its Google+ social platform as well as Google Maps to bring more strength to the crowd-sourced app. Stay tuned to our blog and follow us on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook for more news related to phones, gadgets, computers and tablets.